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Most of Woolly Mammoth Genome Reconstructed

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the I-want-a-cave-bear dept.

Biotech 245

geekmansworld writes "From the Washington Post, 'An international team of scientists has reconstructed more than three-quarters of the genome of the woolly mammoth using DNA extracted from balls of hair, the first time this has been accomplished for an extinct species.' Who wants a pet mammoth?"

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Just to get it over with quickly (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25830995)

I for one welcome the new hirsute elephantine overlords

Re:Just to get it over with quickly (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831365)

In Soviet Russia, woolly mammoths reconstruct you!!!

Not quite there yet (4, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831005)

Given that they have yet to work out how many chromosomes the woolly mammoth had, or which of the DNA features are genuine mutations, and which are artefacts caused by damage since the death of the creatures from whom DNA was extracted, there's a fair distance to go yet.

Still, I don't doubt this is a seriously fun project to be working on. I'd love to get involved.

Re:Not quite there yet (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831071)

Just download god's genome checker.

[x] Automatically fix chromosome errors
[x] Scan for and attempt to recover bad base pairs

Re:Not quite there yet (5, Funny)

Alpha Whisky (1264174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831489)

Your post advocates a

(x) technical ( ) religious ( ) time travel

approach to resurrecting extinct species. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws.)

( ) Possibility of creating mutant monsters
( ) We are defenceless against brute force attacks
(x) People will not put up with giant stampy animals roaming about
(x) The police will not put up with giant stampy animals roaming about
( ) Requires too much cooperation from organised religion
(x) Requires immediate total cooperation from government regulators
( ) Time travel isn't possible
( ) Time travel into the past isn't possible without a wormhole which was (is) in the past already

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

(x) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(x) Lack of centrally controlling authority for mad scientists
(x) We haven't even sequenced the whole genome
(x) Being sued by Michael Crichton's estate
( ) Asshats
( ) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird old animals
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird old animals
( ) Huge existing animals occupying the evolutionary niche of the old ones
(x) Susceptibility of DNA to damage
(x) We don't even know how many chromosomes it should have
( ) Unavailability of any living relatives to carry the foetus to term

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
(x) Religions will argue about playing god
(x) Pointlessness of an animal adapted for an ice age during a period of global warming
( ) What's dead should stay dead
(x) There are better things to spend the money on

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

Re:Not quite there yet (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831741)

Shouldn't something along the line of "we don't know whether they taste nice" be in there?

Re:Not quite there yet (2, Informative)

vigour (846429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831867)

Shouldn't something along the line of "we don't know whether they taste nice" be in there?

There have been some reports of Russians eating frozen Mammoth, but I'm not sure how true that is (I read it somewhere, but I can't remember where).

Here are some quick links I found on the topic:
link 1 [straightdope.com]
link 2 [stupidquestion.net]

Re:Not quite there yet (1, Informative)

gxv (577982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831111)

Not to mention they still lack mitochondrial DNA. Without it you won't get your peth mammoth. Of course they can try to replace it with lets say elephant DNA. But that still wont be mammoth ;)

Re:Not quite there yet (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831347)

But now we can use "wasted" space in the arctic / antarctic to raise the mammolephant hybrids for a food source!

Oh wait, they are melting, never mind.

Re:Not quite there yet (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831527)

Oh wait, they are melting

That's good actually, since Mammoth don't eat ice.

Re:Not quite there yet (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831355)

The mammoth mitochondrial genome was decoded a few years ago.

Mito DNA is much easier to sequence from old samples due to the fact that for every cell which contains one copy of the nuclear genome, there are thousands of copies of the mitochondrial genome.

Re:Not quite there yet (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831123)

Meh. They could just splice in some elephant DNA where the missing stuff is and produce a bunch of woolly elephant/mammoths, which would be close enough. I know. I once saw a movie where they did this...what was it called...? MacArthur Park? No, that's not quite right ...

Re:Not quite there yet (2, Funny)

UltimateRobotLover (806059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831163)

I once saw a movie where they did this...what was it called...? MacArthur Park? No, that's not quite right ...

You're thinking of Valley of the Cloneasaurus.

Re:Not quite there yet (3, Funny)

adamjaskie (310474) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831205)

We don't need them to melt in the dark when someone leaves them out in the rain.

Re:Not quite there yet (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831353)

Is there cake?

Re:Not quite there yet (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831543)

They said there is but I doubt the thier thruthfulness.

Re:Not quite there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831547)

the cake is a lie.
the cake is a lie.
the cake is a lie.

Not to mention... (3, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831149)

Not to mention, didn't we also have this story about how the proteins affect the transcription too, and the same piece of DNA can be transcribed in a dozen different ways or not at all, depending on how those proteins regulate it? It seems to me like in that case it's like saying they decoded half of it.

Re:Not to mention... (2, Interesting)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831295)

transcription is the process of producing things from DNA, in sequencing like they did you're reading the (static) strains of DNA - not its products. Proteins regulate the expression of DNA, i.e. its products like RNA and proteins - you're confusing the two. To make a comparison: transcription is like running a program to see which data is produced. The data in itself regulates in most software the control-flow of the program and this is your feedback loop. The DNA however is stored on disk, it degrades but isn't affected by transcription since it's not being read and executed.

The big achievement here is the defragmentation of all that DNA. DNA sequencing typically produces small fragments instead of huge sequences as is often suggested in popular literature. They piece this together with rules of thumb and overlap detection. FYI: the faster the technique for sequencing, the smaller the fragments. Newest techniques these days often produce fragments in the order of a few dozen to a hundred bases.

They could have saved themselves a ton of work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831221)

by just plucking one of RMS's many hairs.

oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831013)

and I just spent 20000g on my new mammoth mount

Re:oh great (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831103)

and I just spent 20000g on my new mammoth mount

In Soviet Russia, mammoth mount YOU!

aka "Fatal Attraction 2".

apparently... (2, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831035)

the numbers of woolly mammoths has tripled in the past six months...

Re:apparently... (2, Funny)

SebaSOFT (859957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831165)

Actually it went from 0.0 to 0.666666

Re:apparently... (2, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831585)

the numbers of woolly mammoths has tripled in the past six months...

They're breeding.....nature finds a way.

Ummm....where's that helicoptor.

Re:apparently... (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831963)

Actually, the number of physical mammoths is still zero.

However, we are reconstructing the source code, and when we succeed, we can compile as many mammoths as we need.

When did they die out? (2, Interesting)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831041)

As a kid I always thought that Wooly Mammoths died out aroud the same time as the dinosaurs but I heard a while back that they might have been around until a couple of thousand years ago. I now know that man hunted them to the dinosaur date is wrong but when did the last one shed it's mortal coil?

Re:When did they die out? (3, Informative)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831081)

My understanding is that the woolly mammoth is one of the first casualty of the infestation Earth by the human species : they went extinct partly because of the warming climate, partly because of overhunting.

Re:When did they die out? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831183)

They surely must have had genetics to survive warm-ages? If not they must have been a short-lived species.

Re:When did they die out? (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831817)

They surely must have had genetics to survive warm-ages?

Genetics, no. Gillettes, yes.

Sadly, things were a bit primitive back then. Instead of the 97 steel blades we have now there was only one - and made of flint at that. By the time the poor creatures had even one leg shaved, they'd died of heat exhaustion.

And that, children, is why mammoths are extinct.

Re:When did they die out? (3, Informative)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831441)

They were quite recent: They survived on Wrangle Island (Artic) and St Paul Island (Bearing Sea) as dwarfs until 1700 BCE.
They were also found on the Channel Islands off California and disappeared around 40,000 BCE. They are still digging them up, preserved, in the permafrost of Siberia.
Humans did hunt mammoths, sabre-tooths etc.

Re:When did they die out? (3, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831109)

There are no stupid questions. But there are stupid places to ask them. Try [google.ie] elsewhere [google.ie] , for better sources of information.

Re:When did they die out? (5, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831383)

There are no stupid questions. But there are stupid places to ask them. Try elsewhere, for better sources of information.

Really? Considering the amount of SEO spam that's corrupted Google search results, considering the cabals, corruption and low quality of most wikipedia results, and considering that many of the world's experts on most science and technology fields ARE regularly reading slashdot, then I seriously doubt there IS ANY better place to ask a science related question than on this site.

Of course, the downside is that there are some grumpy, elitist pedants here.

Re:When did they die out? (0)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831211)

Dinosaurs and mammals did not coexist. There were some small rat-sized reptiles who were gradually evolving from scales to fur, but they did not take-over until after the dinosaurs were wiped out. ----- Although dinosaurs did not go completely extinct. Some survived and evolved into birds. A modern-day bird is a lot like an ancient raptor.

Watch the BBC's "Before the Dinosaurs" to get a better idea of how life evolved on earth. There's basically two "families" of animals and they keep alternating in dominance. First one is dominant, then the other, and then the first comes back to prominence. Next time a major extinction happens, it might be the dinosaurs/birds that take over the planet.

Re:When did they die out? (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831277)

Although dinosaurs did not go completely extinct. Some survived and evolved into birds.

Ahem. [wikipedia.org]

Crocodiles!=dinos, and mammal coexisted w/ dinos (3, Informative)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831479)

Crocodilians [wikipedia.org] do not come from dinosaurs, although they are related, i.e. their earliest common ancestor was neither a dinosaur nor a crocodilian. On the other hand, the earliest common ancestor of birds was a dinosaur.

Also, mammals existed at least 125Mya [wikipedia.org] :

The oldest known marsupial is Sinodelphys, found in 125M-year old early Cretaceous shale in China's northeastern Liaoning Province. The fossil is nearly complete and includes tufts of fur and imprints of soft tissues.

Re:When did they die out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831291)

> Dinosaurs and mammals did not coexist.

You need to check your facts.

The first placental mammals appeared in the Cretaceous period. That would be the same time that Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed the Earth, never mind that a more accurate title for the book and movies would have been Cretaceous Park.

Re:When did they die out? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831725)

Nat Geo (or maybe the History channel)just did a special about mammal fossils that were found with the bones of (very young)dinosaurs fossilized in their stomachs. I wasn't really paying attention at the time, so I can't say much more about it, just that section caught my attention

Re:When did they die out? (4, Informative)

Comboman (895500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831319)

Dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. Mammoths became extinct about 10,000 years ago, though some scientists believe that there were still pockets of mammoth populations on isolated islands as late as 3500 years ago.

Re:When did they die out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831361)

when did the last one shed it's mortal coil?[sic]

Mortal coils aren't shed (hint, they're not coils as we think of them), you shuffle off them usually.

"What dreames may come, When we haue shufflel'd off this mortal coile, Must give us pause."

Mammoth hairballs? (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831043)

And I thought cats were disgusting...

Re:Mammoth hairballs? (5, Funny)

Norwell Bob (982405) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831189)

Better than mammoth ball hairs.

Re:Mammoth hairballs? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831249)

I read it as "Mammoth hairy balls" which I immediately knew could not be correct.

Re:Mammoth hairballs? (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831529)

Sounds like a logical place to get genetic material, if not a particularly salubrious one.

Re:Mammoth hairballs? (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831559)

Just give me an elephant, a hot glue gun, and shitload of brown wigs and I'll recreate the wholly mammoth for a lot cheaper than these scientists.

Just fill in the remaining genes (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831045)

with those from the Tasmanian Devil ala Jurassic Park. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Just fill in the remaining genes (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831193)

Or the myostatin "bug" found in belgian blue? =P

Re:Just fill in the remaining genes (1)

whitehatnetizen (997645) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831209)

not meaning to be pedantic, but did you mean tasmanian tiger? the tasmanian devil is still alive and well.

Re:Just fill in the remaining genes (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831349)

In Jurassic Park they used frog DNA to replace the missing parts. And frogs are alive and well too.

Re:Just fill in the remaining genes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831457)

Exactly. You'd need something alive and well if you were going to use it to fill in the blanks.

Re:Just fill in the remaining genes (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831733)

Exactly. You'd need something alive and well if you were going to use it to fill in the blanks.

I'd suggest Kangaroo DNA....make wooly jumpers!

Re:Just fill in the remaining genes (2, Informative)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831229)

Um.... I thought they used frog DNA to fill-in the missing sequences. Which is how supposedly "sterile" dinosaurs were able to give birth.

Re:Just fill in the remaining genes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831333)

I think he knew that. Its called a joke.

Re:Just fill in the remaining genes (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831553)

They weren't sterile (obviously). Each and every one was suppose to be female but due to the frog's DNA (and ability to switch genders), well, they got it on, bow chicka and etc.

This is huge! (5, Funny)

wytten (163159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831075)

It could be the solution of how how to maintain legacy systems in generations to come. They just need to start mapping the genes of a COBOL programmer.

Re:This is huge! (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831289)

> They just need to start mapping the genes of a COBOL programmer.

Why would you do that? They are evil!

Little green scaly evil punks. Always with their traps and their "I'm dragon subtype I can reach godhood before level 6". Bah!

Mark my words. You'll regret not having cloned griffins first.

Re:This is huge! (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831493)

Almost as bad as those FORTRAN lifeforms. They tend to turn up when least expected and have no idea about micro-computers

Now that we maybe can make a mammoth (1)

nani popoki (594111) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831089)

We need to begin work on the non-neotenacious version of an ostritch. (Larry Niven fans will get this. For the rest of you, see "Bird in Hand" from his anthology "Flight of the Horse".)

Re:Now that we maybe can make a mammoth (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831167)

You want us all to read a book/anthology just to get one joke? /Shakes head/ Only on slashdot...

Re:Now that we maybe can make a mammoth (4, Funny)

irtza (893217) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831781)

I don't think you understand. The internet and slashdot was an elaborate ploy by Nivens to get more fans. He planted the ideas for the internet a long time ago and nurtured it until the web was born. He then planted the idea to create a forum for nerds. Once this was done he waited for critical mass and posted this line. Now people like me who stopped reading fiction some time ago, will see this name and investigate on the very same internet! Its rather brilliant. The only thing is that if we comply and read, then he will no longer have a use for the internet and will likely have it taken down (his purpose being completed). To prevent the destruction of this invaluable tool, I will boycott reading any further.

and with my first paranoid rant done, I am ready to start my day!

Why the cheap joke? (1)

SebaSOFT (859957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831095)

Why you put hairyballs as a tag? lol

Mammoths reborn in WoTLK (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831099)

There are woolly mammoths in the latest World of Warcraft expansion. They're huge, fierce, and scary looking.

Let's make one (1)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831143)

Cool! Let's make one - I want one for a pet!

Re:Let's make one (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831503)

Someone already tried genetically engineering one, and the result was a hideously deformed creature called Ron Jeremy. It's hairy enough, but the trunk is in the wrong place...

No pet mammoth for me (1)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831147)

I'd rather have a pet dodo personally.

Re:No pet mammoth for me (2, Funny)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831555)

How about a furby? [cnn.com]

DNA extracted from balls of hair? (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831185)

hmm DNA extracted from hairs of balls would be more interesting.

pricetag: $10 million, right now (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831191)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/science/20mammoth.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink [nytimes.com]

right NOW, we can do this

apparently it would be tedious, but a number of technical hurdles have been overcome lately to the point where this is really conceivable to do, and the talk about doing it isnot theoretical, but practical

1. most recent modern genome decoders don't care that the dna is shredded into pieces
2. encapsulated in keratin (hair), the dna is not so tainted by bacterial dna like it is in bone
3. a new technique allows modifying modern elephant dna 50,000 genomic sites at a time, rather than one by one, so the proper egg can be arrived at after a few generations of reconstruction, implanted in a female elephant, and voila

this can be done, right NOW!

amazing

even more freaky: we can do the same, right now, with neanderthal!

using chimpanzee as a starting point for ethical considerations, we can also, right NOW, bring a neanderthal back to life

that's pretty freaky. these guys wouldn't be dumb. someone would have to explain to the guy that he is not the last of his species, he's an artifically reconstructed clone of a guy who died 50,000 years ago. no one of his kind exists anymore

but we revived a wooly old friend of yours too. here's a spear, happy hunting

just don't eat the dodo
or the quagga
or the irish elk
or the auroch
or the sabretooth though

really really freaky and amazing

Insensitive Topic (2, Funny)

Hasney (980180) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831207)

My g/f was looking over my shoulder and proclaimed she already had a pet wooly mammoth and looked at me :(

Re:Insensitive Topic (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831237)

and looked at me :(

I hope she did not mean you. ;)

Poll time (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831673)

Which would you rather her to call you?

a) pet woolly mammoth
b) neanderthal
c) dinosaur
d) Fred
e) Cowboy Neal

Re:Poll time (1)

Hasney (980180) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831729)

Anything but Fred, since that's my dads name.....

*shudder*

Re:Insensitive Topic (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831775)

What? You've got a girlfriend? And she doesn't live in Canada?

Me like mammoth (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831215)

You like mammoth? [youtube.com]

*sigh* want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831217)

I have 20,000 gold. can I have one now?

clone or harvest eggs and sperm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831227)

If they have well preserved (i.e. frozen) specimens, why not just harvest eggs and sperm, mix, shake well, implant in an elephant, wait 22 months, and profit^H^H^H^H^H^H^H see what comes out.

Re:clone or harvest eggs and sperm (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831965)

If they have well preserved (i.e. frozen) specimens, why not just harvest eggs and sperm, mix, shake well, implant in an elephant, wait 22 months, and profit^H^H^H^H^H^H^H see what comes out.

Even 'preserved' DNA does not age well.

The only important question (5, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831279)

Do they taste good??

Re:The only important question (-1)

Trollmastah (129873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831539)

chicken.

Re:The only important question (4, Interesting)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831595)

No. Mammoth meat probably smells and tastes like limburger cheese.

University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel Fisher had a theory that early Americans of 10,000 years ago used frozen lakes as refrigerators to store mastodon and mammoth meat. He tested his theory when a friend's horse died of old age. Fisher dropped chunks of horse meat of up to 170 pounds below the ice in a nearby pond. He anchored some pieces to the bottom. Every week or so he cooked and chewed a piece of meat, and eventually swallowed each bite. The meat remained safe to eat well into the summer. The theory is that as the water warmed in the spring, lactobacilli (the bacteria found in yogurt & cheese) colonized the meat, rendering it inhospitable to other pathogens. So despite the smell and taste (similar to Limburger cheese), the meat remained safe to eat.
http://www.foodreference.com/html/f-mammoth-meat.html [foodreference.com]

Re:The only important question (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831701)

But that's probably even less accurate than saying milk smells and tastes like limburger cheese.

Re:The only important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831761)

I'm already working on my 365 wooly mammoth recipes... subtitled... "once you pick the hairs out they're not that bad."

What about woolly mammoth KDE?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831339)

*sigh*

More food for all of us (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831357)

I wonder what it will taste like, anyways, it will feed a small village for a week in africa, so I definitely think we should bring them back in armies and replace killing of smaller mammals for food...1 kill = food for 1 vs. 1 kill = food for 10!

Re:More food for all of us (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831939)

Given that mammoths are big and probably not too keen on havinmg spears chucked at them, it's be more like one mammoth kill, three hunter kills, food for the surviving hunters.

Think of the Mastodons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831375)

You inconsiderate bast*ards.

Intelligent design? (0, Offtopic)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831409)

If we are able to design an animal, would this mean intelligent design, or would it mean evolution at its best? (There goes the karma)

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831433)

The article itself says that "about two-thirds" of the genome has been reconstructed, not "more than three-quarters," as the teaser says.

Re:Correction (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831795)

According to this BBC article [bbc.co.uk] it was 80%

Obb xkcd (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831459)

Jurassic Park? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831605)

The correct tag for this would be eyreaffair, not jurassicpark. In The Eyre Affair there were resurrected mammoths wandering around the British countryside (and since they were an endangered species you weren't allowed to interfere with their migration patterns).

Re:Jurassic Park? (1)

Fotherington (962601) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831721)

For those who haven't read any Jasper Fforde, see here [wikipedia.org] . A very suitable Christmas gift for the literary geek in your life.

Hey what about (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831655)

Mastodons?
They seem to have lived later than the mammoths like 10,000 years ago [wikipedia.org]

Obigitory SP (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831665)

How about making little potbellied woolly mammoths?

Yeah, but... (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831695)

Yeah, but who wants 3/4 of a Wooly Mammoth? Aren't we at least 98% similar in DNA to earthworms? Let me know when the whole genome is reconstructed. :)

good timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831765)

global worming -> global ice age

The question we should all ask... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831849)

Sure cloning a mammoth would be cool, but I think we all need to ask ourselves some important ethical questions beforehand. For instance, will it run linux?

Can Einstein clones be far behind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25831881)

Wait a sec -- if we're as close as that -

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/science/20mammoth.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink [nytimes.com]

- to resurrecting members of extinct species -- how far are we from being able to select "valuable human beings" to have another go?

We have Einstein's brain tissue, at least -- probably more? He is universally revered - and even those that might think it wouldn't work would be interested to see whether or not it did. Might not the "purely good" motive here be enough to overcome the objections on the part of those who think human cloning is morally wrong?

The case could certainly be made and the already prevalent use of donor sperm pretty much ensures that there would be plenty of women lined up to offer their wombs (we'd probably find out a lot about extra-genetic influences on development).

Morally speaking, if we *could* reproduce already proven exceptionally beneficial members of our species, might there not even be a positive argument for it?

Reading comprehension (1)

Arnar (207686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25831921)

Did anyone else read "reconstructed from the hair of their balls" ?

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