Tag Archives | Mammoth

Cloning The Mammoth

Paul Jamin - Le MammouthNathaniel Rich writes for the New York Times Magazine that “bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad.”

The first time Ben Novak saw a passenger pigeon, he fell to his knees and remained in that position, speechless, for 20 minutes. He was 16. At 13, Novak vowed to devote his life to resurrecting extinct animals. At 14, he saw a photograph of a passenger pigeon in an Audubon Society book and “fell in love.” But he didn’t know that the Science Museum of Minnesota, which he was then visiting with a summer program for North Dakotan high-school students, had them in their collection. He was shocked when he came across a cabinet containing two stuffed pigeons, a male and a female, mounted in lifelike poses. He was overcome by awe, sadness and the birds’ physical beauty: their bright auburn breasts, slate-gray backs and the dusting of iridescence around their napes that, depending on the light and angle, appeared purple, fuchsia or green.

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The Resurrection of the Wooly Mammoth

Woolly mammothYou’d think anyone who had watched Jurassic Park would know that this is likely to be a very bad idea, but regardless the scientist who cloned Dolly the Sheep is plotting to use the DNA of the Wooly Mammoth to clone the ancient beast, reports the Guardian:

The pioneering scientist who created Dolly the sheep has outlined how cells plucked from frozen woolly mammoth carcasses might one day help resurrect the ancient beasts.

The notional procedure – bringing with it echoes of the Jurassic Park films – was spelled out by Sir Ian Wilmut, the Edinburgh-based stem-cell scientist, whose team unveiled Dolly as the world’s first cloned mammal in 1996.

Though it is unlikely that a mammoth could be cloned in the same way as Dolly, more modern techniques that convert tissue cells into stem cells could potentially achieve the feat, Wilmut says in an article today for the academic journalism website, The Conversation.

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Japanese Scientists Plan to Resurrect Mammoth Within Five Years

Woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) - Mauricio Antón/PLoS (CC)

Woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) - Mauricio Antón/PLoS (CC)

Are we one step closer to Jurassic Park? Perhaps wishful thinking on my part, but we’re making progress, as reported by the Daily Mail:

It died out around 8,000 years ago…but in just five years the woolly mammoth could soon be walking the Earth again.

Japanese scientists are behind an ambitious project to bring the long-extinct mammal back from the dead.

The revival requires a sample of intact DNA for cloning purposes and an elephant to act as surrogate mother, donating an egg and her womb.

Taking into account the 600 or so days needed for the pregnancy, the first baby mammoths of the modern age could be born in four to five years.

In recent years, scientists have used samples of hair frozen in the Siberian ice for thousands of years to piece together the mammoth’s genetic code. And DNA preserved in bone has been used to recreate the prehistoric giant’s blood.

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