Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wooly Mammoth making a comeback

I had read that scientists were going to try to bring back the wooly mammoth by implanting DNA from fossils that had been found in Russia in the wombs of elephants. Over a couple of generations, one could conceivably produce a new, modern branch of the wooly mammoth.

Then I saw this video of a baby wooly mammoth fossil that was found in Siberia almost completely intact. In theory, they should be able to extract enough DNA from this specimen to be able to clone him.

I would argue that cloning should be considered moral and entirely appropriate, perhaps even the right thing to do, if the species is extinct or in danger of becoming extinct, perhaps in part due to hunting done by humans.

As a side note, there is also talk of bringing back dinosaurs by using large flightless birds known as emus, from Australia, and arresting their avian development, in effect producing a more primitive, saurian version of it.

Genetically engineered pets are also not just a matter of science fiction anymore. I was shocked to see the webpage ... and relieved to find out it's a hoax (or, as the webpage author calls it, it's art).

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