Friday, November 21, 2008

I would very much like one, please, thank you

A woolly freakin' mammoth

Yesterday I read in the Times that some scientists believe they can reconstruct the DNA of a woolly mammoth from hair that has been preserved, and even bring one to life:
There are talks on how to modify the DNA in an elephant’s egg so that after each round of changes it would progressively resemble the DNA in a mammoth egg. The final-stage egg could then be brought to term in an elephant mother, and mammoths might once again roam the Siberian steppes.
That would be a hell of a way to confuse Vladimir Putin. The article laconically added:
The same would be technically possible with Neanderthals, whose full genome is expected to be recovered shortly, but there would be several ethical issues in modifying modern human DNA to that of another human species.
Yeah, you think?

I actually think that there are ethical issues involved in bringing back a species that nature had already decided to retire. Any thoughts on that?

At the same time, having a real live woolly mammoth around would be very cool, and I would like to have one, thank you very much, please.


Garpu said...

Great. Now I've got the theme to "Jurassic Park" stuck in my head.

Jeff said...

Is there a leash or scooper law for mammoth in Manhattan?

It's a shame that Michael Crichton didn't live quite long enough to see this headline.

Actually, I've read that the wooly mammoth was very well suited to its environment, but like a lot of other mega-fauna, it was hunted to extinction by man.

cowboyangel said...

Yeah, didn't anyone besides Jen and I see Jurassic Park?

I have problems with genetically modified crops, so playing around with extinct animals and humans seems incredibly dangerous to me.

But my feeling is that it will happen, no matter what I think.

Einstein and the woolly mammoth will be hanging out together in New York, until they both go berserk and start slaughtering people.

Liam said...

Yet, I thought of Jurassic Park when I read the story, too.

I just want to be able to ride the thing to work.

Garpu said...

It would be green. You could recycle the droppings into compost.

cowboyangel said...

Yes, but some people and small animals could be killed by those droppings.

And parking it would be a bitch.

crystal said...

Hannibal would be so jelouse. I wonder if they can make them look like the ones in The Lord of the Rings.

KcM said...

I'm all for it. Better living through science. In all things, the question must be asked: WWPFD? (What would Professor Frink do?)

Besides, the earth is on borrowed time anyway, now that we've decided to rip the planet apart with the Large Hadron Collider.

Garpu said...

Yeah, but if you spend too much time underneath the back end of a mammoth, you kind of deserve what you get, know what I mean?

cowboyangel said...

Hope you both enjoyed your woolly mammoth Thanksgiving. Thanks for calling - that was nice.

Woolly mammoths would make nice floats for the Macy's parade, no?