Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Pyramids Are Older than the Mammoths

Scientists have successfully inserted Woolly Mammoth DNA into the Elephant genome.

Here's an interesting fact to ponder: The Pyramids are older than the Mammoths.

The last mammoth died out on remote Wrangel Island around 1650 BC, when the Giza Pyramids were already 1,000 years old.

I bring this up because scientists have now successfully inserted Woolly Mammoth DNA into the Elephant genome.

No, this does not mean that Mammoths are about to be recreated inside a Jurassic Park.

But it does mean that we are making progress in the manipulation of cells and cloning, and that it is no longer crazy talk to think we might, one day, be able to bring back some approximation to now extinct animals such as Passenger Pigeons, Tasmanian Tigers, Mammoths, Carolina Parakeets, and Woolly Rhinos.

Of course, all of this is just a conjurer's trick for creating new zoo specimens unless suitable wild habitat can be set aside and protected, which will require humans to reign in our own fecundity.

For those interested in reading a bit more about Mammoths and the future, see this old post entitled The Mammoth in the Hedge about my "losing the race" to win the first Long Bet. Ted Danson beat me! On the upside, I did win a later bet, the one that (arguably) can be described as the most important bet in the world.

1 comment:

Gaddy Bergmann said...

I'm all in favor of cloning extinct elephants (mammoths), since they probably died out at least in part due to human overhunting. If we can restore them to their former stomping grounds, like Siberia, they could be of great importance to ecosystem functioning. Ditto for any other megafauna that went extinct during humanity's tenure on this Earth.