The ambitious plan to resurrect the animals we can’t save


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Coming up today… we dig deep into the biometric surveillance tech boom and Natasha has a fun day out at a farm.

This week James and Matt B ask whether we should ban biometric surveillance? Improvements in artificial intelligence mean it’s possible to analyse and identify people by their walk, their veins, their face, their fingers and even the shape of their ears. As a result, the biometrics industry is booming – it’s expected to grow to between $60 billion and $80bn in the coming years. However, the technology has a creepy side: it’s being used to group people by ethnicity, gender and try to predict their emotions.

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For our second story, Vicki and Natasha look at the effort to build the biggest biobank of animal cells in Europe. Nature’s SAFE aims to collect 50 million genetic samples and "freeze them in time", storing cells from critically endangered species including the Amur leopard, black rhino and mountain chicken frog in cryogenic tanks. The idea is to harvest and preserve samples of semen – as well as ova and other tissue – that could one day be used to regenerate dwindling animal populations and prevent them from going extinct.

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227 episoder