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Resurrecting the Mighty Mammoth, Cheaply

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the when-faster-and-cheaper-are-synonymous dept.

Biotech 322

somanyrobots writes with an interesting followup in the New York Times to the earlier-reported substantial reconstruction of the woolly mammoth genome: "Scientists are talking for the first time about the old idea of resurrecting extinct species as if this staple of science fiction is a realistic possibility, saying that a living mammoth could perhaps be regenerated for as little as $10 million. The same technology could be applied to any other extinct species from which one can obtain hair, horn, hooves, fur or feathers, and which went extinct within the last 60,000 years, the effective age limit for DNA." (The Washington Post article linked from the earlier post was much more skeptical, calling such an attempt "still firmly the domain of science fiction." The New York Times article, while describing the process in similar terms, also calls attention to recent advances in sequencing DNA, as well as recoding DNA for cloning.)

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$10,000,000, eh? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25839661)

Anyone got some amber they want to sell?

-or-

Yo mamma so fat, it'd cost 10 billion to clone her!

Re:$10,000,000, eh? (5, Insightful)

VernonNemitz (581327) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840129)

Actually the price should be at least double that, because if they really want to ressurect the species, they need two, a male and a female.

Re:$10,000,000, eh? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840401)

"...life, uh... finds a way. " (Jurassic Park)

Re:$10,000,000, eh? (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840425)

Noah, is that you?

Re:$10,000,000, eh? (4, Insightful)

NewsWatcher (450241) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840449)

Actually, given in-breeding, if they wanted to get a viable population going, they would probably need a whole herd.

Re:$10,000,000, eh? (5, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840481)

Like I tell my kids...

It is not the cost of [insert animal here] it's the maintenance, food, license, vet shots.

Do you have any idea what your vet will charge to neuter a mammoth?

And we are talking about full-on GARBAGE bags to clean up after it, on walks.

Re:$10,000,000, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25840509)

Not necessarily so, if you consider parthenogenesis. While at first it may seem very unlikely, we do have examples of mammoths reproducing asexually. I mean, with the aforementioned Mammuthus Yermomicus, Occam's razor would indicate that parthenogenesis occurred due to the even lower chance of her finding a mate both willing and well enough endowed to allow for proper fertilization.

Re:$10,000,000, eh? (1)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840695)

I think if they want to resurrect the species they'll need more than a male and a female. Genetic diversity and all that. I'm not sure how many would be sufficient, but it's more than two =).

Re:$10,000,000, eh? (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840365)

No, but I'm pretty sure someone has used the DNA of another front page story to clone it and make this one...

This is probably the runner up for a record time between dupes.

1968 science fiction (2, Insightful)

logjon (1411219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839663)

is today's reality.

Re:1968 science fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25839703)

Where's Jeff Goldblum to bumble around aimlessly when you need him?

Re:1968 science fiction (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839779)

on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Fuck doing a Mammoth.... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839999)

....let's resurrect Jimi Hendrix instead!!

That way we could have some good music to listen to again at least....

Re:Fuck doing a Mammoth.... (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840343)

I'm sure there will be a *lot* more Elvis sightings too... (unfortunately).

Re:Fuck doing a Mammoth.... (4, Funny)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840397)

why can't we just combine Hendrix's DNA with the Mammoth's?

Good! (5, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839679)

We may well need an army of Mammoths to fight the mutant tool-equipped space spiders from that other earlier story. $10 million is a small price to pay to save humanity from the giant space webs.

Re:Good! (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839851)

But then we'd be stuck with the mammoth overlords!

No, that's the beauty of it. When winter comes, they'll all freeze to death!

Re:Good! (2, Funny)

hkfczrqj (671146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840115)

No, that's the beauty of it. When global warming comes, they'll all cook to death!

There, I fixed it for you.

Re:Good! (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839899)

I don't care what kind of cosmic rays they've been exposed to, spiders wielding lubricant guns and hex wrenches are not scary. "Oh, look out, it's going to build some furniture and reduce wear on my bearings!"

Re:Good! (5, Funny)

Eastree (719351) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839977)

That's not how the spiders plan to use the lube and wrenches ...

Re:Good! (3, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840179)

Sounds like the annual Sydney Mardi Gras [mardigras.org.au] , only with fewer hairy legs. Still not frightening.

Re:Good! (2, Funny)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839969)

Rebuilt woolly mammoths duking it out with mutant space spiders?!?

I'll bring popcorn!!

Bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25840595)

Soon we won't be able to use the phrase: "Dead as a dodo".

These scientists have no regard to language preservation.

Oh FFS, it's still on the front page (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839685)

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/20/0410224

Sounds real cheap to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25839693)

As little as 10 million? Sounds our tax dollars are being put to good use.

Frankenstein (1, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839699)

What about the animal? The poor thing will be the only one of its species in existence. No chance of reproduction (unless it's close enough to an elephant to mate), no herd to grow up in, no point to its life other than for us to ooh and aah over.

Just because we can doesn't mean we should.

Re:Frankenstein (3, Insightful)

somanyrobots (1334451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839719)

It really just sounds like you're saying we need more than one.

Re:Frankenstein (2, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839955)

I suggest each one of us gets at least a single mammoth.

Mr. President (2, Funny)

airherbe (638417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840137)

Mr. President, we must not allow a mammoth gap.

Re:Frankenstein (3, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840263)

"I suggest each one of us gets at least a single mammoth."

Especially if they taste good!!

Hell, down here in southern LA, if one of those things shows up, there's bound to be a Cajun fix an etouffee out of it. People down here will eat anything that doesn't eat them first....and make it taste good!!

Re:Frankenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25840301)

Mmmmmm ... $10 Million Steak ...

Re:Frankenstein (1)

ebuck (585470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840271)

Forty acres and a mammoth?

Re:Frankenstein (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839869)

What about the animal? The poor thing will be the only one of its species in existence. No chance of reproduction (unless it's close enough to an elephant to mate), no herd to grow up in, no point to its life other than for us to ooh and aah over.

And yet would the mammoth's life experiences be any different from those of millions of other animals being kept as pets already? It would certainly have a much longer and healthier life than that of your average cow, chicken, or lab rat....

I think your sympathies are misplaced.

As for whether there would be a "point" to its life... it would be a significant scientific and technological milestone. That's more "point" than most domesticated animals have.

Re:Frankenstein (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839985)

I think the previous commenter's point was the ethics of bringing an animal back purely for our own entertainment. Which isn't much different from the ethics of having a zoo, except that it was born via a process of science instead of nature. For my small part, I always feel sad going to a zoo. We don't live in harmony with nature anymore -- we have conquered it, and in so doing we've lessened the meaning of our own lives.

Harmony never existed (5, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840373)

Man just lived and existed, there was no idyllic eden like harmony. change occurs constantly, that ole evolution thing. Where man goes or is, change happens. Same as where these mammoths went (five tons of pachyderm beef can cause some localized disruption, just like elephants today cause deserts eventually by tearing down trees) We fought and killed and caused whoops forest fires and so on, made creeks run dirty from digging clams and mussels on the banks, caused erosion from harvesting tubers, changed the balance of the local flora by starting agriculture, took food from other animals by that same reason, ate the other animals, skinned critters to make our clothes and shelters, all of that stuff. If you mean just living feral as being in harmony, you still can, it's quite possible, just back away from the keyboard and go for it, I did it for several years, was quite a hoot actually. I consider it a large part of my education and what makes me appreciate life better and helped establish my sense of ethics and morals (not to get too schmaltzy about it). Took more than a few skills and some dam' good luck as well, nature plays no favs, you are allowed to screw up *badly* on occasion.

    With that said,there are probably way more than a billion people still live close to totally feral around the planet still.

    My short report on my "research experiment": The slickest thing in civilization today, one that most folks in the developed world take for granted and don't appreciate near enough, is clean running water from the tap. Everything else is nice, electricity is swell, gadgets are fun, supermarkets rock, but clean running water is *simply great*.

  And I'd take a mammoth pair to add to my herd here, just give me year's notice so I can adjust the fencing a little better.....

Re:Harmony never existed (-1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840465)

Tell that to the american indians. They had a pretty harmonious culture. Or the Japanese before we nuked them... or hell, there've been many civilizations that had harmony with nature as a central tenet and had stable populations.

Re:Harmony never existed (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25840751)

By "harmonious" you must mean "plans and executes a massive attack on American soil resulting in massive losses of life and property".....

By all estimates, nuking Japan not only saved countless American lives (the only ones that matter in war) but also likely saved countless Japanese, since they would most likely have fought to the very last man otherwise.

Re:Frankenstein (5, Funny)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840603)

I feel sad at a zoo cause you can't get at the tasty ones.

Re:Frankenstein (5, Interesting)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840127)

His post assumes that we wouldn't try to establish a breeding population. If we plan on bringing back an extinct species, what moral obligation do we have to prevent its extinction when the only specimen dies? Or is it okay, since our world has moved on since the last mammoth lived? If scientists make one, should we make more and restore a population? Would today's world be a good environment for a wild population or not? Would our creations be forever destined to live in zoos?

If we create a breeding population, how do we ensure genetic diversity? I am not a bioengineer, and have no way of knowing if diversity is already included in their method (taking a living elephant's skin cell and slowly reshuffling the DNA from elephant to mammoth) by simply using cells from different donor elephants for making each new mammoth. I guess that would depend on how reshuffled the DNA gets in the process of injecting new sequences.

Re:Frankenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25840163)

It's fine if the only one dies. That's another 60,000 years for the DNA to be viable; just save some and it resets that clock.

Re:Frankenstein (4, Insightful)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840623)

Look what we did for the American Bison, I mean they are tasty and all but we still stopped at the last minute. Now everyone can have buffalo steaks if they want one. Why not bring 'em back and farm them for food. We used them for that once and these things produce a whole lot more meat than buffalo.

Re:Frankenstein (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840733)

I guess that would depend on how reshuffled the DNA gets in the process of injecting new sequences.

As long as it's shuffled at least 4 times, it should all work out fine.

Re:Frankenstein (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840191)

And one ethical way to justify this resurrection would apply to every man-caused animal extinction. Well, mammoths *may* have been annihilated by humans.
See for example [mapache.org] .

Re:Frankenstein (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839967)

This is Slashdot; creatures with no chance of reproducing are par for the course here, I don't see why another one is so morally outrageous, especially one that's slimmer and less hairy than the average Linux hacker.

Re:Frankenstein (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840085)

I imagine it would be delicious...

who said we can only make one? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840099)

let's make a whole herd

Re:Frankenstein (1)

ebuck (585470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840245)

Somehow I believe if you could bring one back, bringing another back of the opposite sex within a few years wouldn't be impossibly difficult. Especially when it would likely be the most cost effective means of producing more Mammoths for zoos and others that were willing to pay.

The business of zoos might not always be pretty, but it practically guarantees that more than one will exist if public outrage doesn't overcome public curiosity.

Re:Frankenstein (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840765)

Somehow I believe if you could bring one back, bringing another back of the opposite sex within a few years wouldn't be impossibly difficult.

Just mix in a certain frog's DNA, and they'll change from female to male no problems.

Re:Frankenstein (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840345)

Until I see an outcry against household pets, your comment holds no water.

Re:Frankenstein (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840587)

Cool, send it to the kitchen we'll take Good Care(tm) of it there.

Missing the "disk drive"? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839733)

Aren't we missing the "disk drive", that is, the womb and whatever else surrounded the DNA (egg?). Or has the "drive" changed little enough that current "models" will work? It seems a problem, sort of like archiving a bunch of data and including plans for the drive needed to read the disk it's encoded on, but of course you need the drive before you can read the plans to construct one. (sorry for not using a car analogy)

Re:Missing the "disk drive"? (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839805)

Current elephants are reasonably closely related to mammoths, so you should be able to use them as the base. Since mitochrondria reproduce asexually, they don't evolve very quickly, and all the other bits in a donor egg will be replaced with DNA-derived ones as the cell divides.

Re:Missing the "disk drive"? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840429)

Maybe if we made a really big incubator...

secksy file-system navigator (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839745)

I am completely fine with them doing this as long as they use the FSV and somehow get unix to run on a thinking machines.

Re:secksy file-system navigator (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839837)

Link [sourceforge.net] for those of us with whom the nerd is not strong.

stupid (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25839755)

man, you americans must be swiming in cash... "only 10 million". This will be called the mamoth bailout

Morality and the Wolly Mammoth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25839757)

Bringing back the Wolly Mammoth back from extinction to me brings up some interesting moral questions...

Namely, if this 10,000 year old species were to order a grand slam at Denny's, would the store be obliged to give in the senior citizen discount?

Ahem (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25839765)

Not only can scientists resurrect the mammouth, but timothy has successfully recreated a post from all of two an a half hours ago.

Inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25839773)

I, for one, welcome our new mammoth-breeding overlords.

Get Blue Sky Studios to pay for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25839799)

Then they could make a live action Ice Age 3

mmmm Mammoth Burgers... (4, Interesting)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839819)

Well, the first few we resurrect will be interesting and a tourist attraction and all that, but once the public is used to them there has to be a practical application.

Mammoth Burgers sound good to me :)

Re:mmmm Mammoth Burgers... Same thought (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839915)

here.

But, then i thought, "Why not regenerate limbs for victims of accidents, assaults, and diabetes-related amputations?"

Re:mmmm Mammoth Burgers... Same thought (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840363)

Because most amputees would probably not want their missing limbs replaced with mammoth legs?

Re:mmmm Mammoth Burgers... Same thought (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840649)

MWO? Why would you think I'm proposing fusing human and mammoth and giving humans hairy legs? I'm proposing trying to get back to prosthetics or chemically-bathed donor parts or full-blown own-cloned parts.

But, i guess i could concede to your supposition, since "everybody has a price" might be in play here... might help out hollywood not have to own so many hair costumes...

Re:mmmm Mammoth Burgers... Same thought (3, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840749)

> Why would you think I'm proposing fusing human and mammoth and giving humans hairy legs?

Because I see no other possible connection with this story?

Re:mmmm Mammoth Burgers... (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839991)

My thoughts exactly... since these critters were apparently hunted into extinction by early humans, I can only surmise that they must have been really good eatin'! I'm sure we'll have no problem raising the money to clone these beasties if we just promise everybody that contributes a good mammoth meal. However, I think the $10 million estimate is way too low; this is a 100-year project since you're starting with an elephant surrogate and you don't have a true mammoth until you've gone through several generations. Even then, the poor things will be incredibly inbred, in addition to all the genetic flaws introduced during gene sequencing and gene splicing. I suspect one would have several false starts before you get a critter that is both viable and contains all that lip-smacking mammoth goodness!

Re:mmmm Mammoth Burgers... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840411)

There is a theory/idea that early humans hunted every large land animal that did not evolve alongside him to extinction (so stuff from Africa is still around, as it learned fear before the human population took off).

Mammoth moneymaker (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840083)

Think food, and "tourism." It's working with farming bison [hpj.com] , an animal which was almost extinct. The meat is leaner than regular beef and sells well, but the real money comes from hee-haws with large-calibre weapons who like shooting big hairy cows in open fields. Imagine how much money they'd shell out to blow away a woolly mammoth.

And for the record - whoever came up with the "jurassicbabar" tag, I love you.

Re:Mammoth moneymaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25840639)

Damn, already modded, gotta go AC... Anyway, Mmmmmmmmm, Mammoth Burgers! I for one cannot wait to see "Mammoth" join "Buffalo", "Ostrich", and "Elk" on the menu at Fuddruckers. ('Cuz, really, where else would you go for a good Mammoth Burger?) In fact, they should be investing in this. And while they're at it, they should also work on resurrecting the Aurochs.

The meat [...] sells well, but the real money comes from hee-haws with large-calibre weapons who like shooting big hairy cows in open fields.

I wasn't aware of this, but I immediately believe it.

Imagine how much money they'd shell out to blow away a woolly mammoth.

Yep. 'Course, if they were real men, they'd do it with spears.

Mmmmmmm (3, Funny)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839839)

Mammoth ribs :)

*goes back to watching Flintstones*

Re:Mmmmmmm (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839919)

And why not? If they can be bred in captivity what would be wrong with mammoth farms, mammoth steaks, and other tasty, tasty murder?

Re:Mmmmmmm (2, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840331)

" Mammoth ribs :)

*goes back to watching Flintstones*"

Awww shit.

I'm gonna have to buy a much LARGER smoker.....

Why just the mammoth? (3, Insightful)

dfm3 (830843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839877)

The article hints at the possibility of bringing back other species, but doesn't elaborate. We have museum specimens of other extinct species such as the passenger pigeon [wikipedia.org] , Carolina parakeet [wikipedia.org] , and ivory-billed woodpecker, and those are certainly much more recent (all 3 species went extinct within the last century). Doesn't this open up the possibility of bringing back a few of these species, too?

Re:Why just the mammoth? (1, Flamebait)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840395)

Yep, but you can count on the "environmentalists" coming out in droves against this. It would get in the way of them using animal extinction as a tool to control how people behave.

What? (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839889)

The Washington Post article linked from the earlier post was much more skeptical, calling such an attempt "still firmly the domain of science fiction."

The Washington Post wouldn't know sci-fi if it came up and slapped them in the face, otherwise all they'd be writing is sci-fi . . .

Oh, wait . . .

more exciting (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839895)

is, from the same story, relegated to second interest, for some reason, the idea of resurrecting a neanderthal, the same way as the woolly mammoth. using chimpanzee as the starting cell lineage rather than human, for ethical considerations of course

but this guy won't be dumb. somebody will have to explain to him he's not the last of his kind... he is the 50,000 year old cloned reconstruction of his kind

weird, lonely, and possible on our lifetime

very cool, very freaky

Re:more exciting (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840109)

"more exciting is... the idea of resurrecting a neanderthal"

You know, I knew some slashdotters were desperate for a date, but I never suspected they were THAT desperate! On the bright side, they could do GEICO commercials without even using makeup!

But seriously, the prospect of bringing a flawed misfit sentient being into this world and explaining to them "oh, by the way, your species is extinct!" doesn't seem very humane or ethical to me. How would you feel if you were resurrected by some other primates as one of a handful of your kind 50,000 years hence? Be just a little alienated, don't you think?

good point (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840123)

but who said we only had to make one?

Re:more exciting (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840211)

On the bright side, they could do GEICO commercials without even using makeup!

Those guys are liars. They are clearly shown living in houses and apartments. They're not "cave men." They're just scrubs.

Re:more exciting (4, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840277)

But seriously, the prospect of bringing a flawed misfit sentient being into this world and explaining to them "oh, by the way, your species is extinct!" doesn't seem very humane or ethical to me.

You know... I didn't think I'd be the one to tell you this... but Locke2005, have you ever wondered why you were so much hairier than your "biological" father? Ever wonder why kids giggled when your name "Ug" was read in classrooms, and why you prefer deerskin over cashmir?

I'm sure you've come to the correct conclusion by now... If you don't believe me, the proof is right before your eyes. You're posting excitedly in a news post about mammoth burgers.

I'll let you get back to your flint and tinder... and... we're sorry about your entire species.

Re:more exciting (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840443)

Funny, I would think that you would explain to him that he is the first of his kind in his species rebirth. I would think a good name for him would be Phoenix.

And where do I park my mammoth? (3, Interesting)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839917)

Of course that's fascinating, but what would they do with a mammoth? Polar bears are becoming endangered because of rising temperatures and mammoths have disappeared, supposedly because the climate was too warm. They'll have to build a large freezer to keep the beast alive--Jurassic Park meets Frosty the Snowman--or they might not find a place cold enough on Earth for that purpose.

What about the Dodo [wikipedia.org] ? Any bits left?

That's a strange coincidence they're talking about this JP-like experiment a few weeks after Michael Crichton's death. Posthumous humour?

Save the dodo, extinct the coelacanth. (3, Informative)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840573)

What about the Dodo [wikipedia.org] ? Any bits left?

Save the dodo, extinct the coelacanth.

"If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don't. It's like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don't hurt it. Not even major surgery if it's done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make.

"That isn't to say that if you get involved in a paradox a few things won't strike you as being very odd, but if you've got through life without that already happening to you, then I don't know which Universe you've been living in, but it isn't this one."

"Well, if that's the case," said Richard, "why were you so fierce about not doing anything to save the dodo?"

Reg sighed. "You don't understand at all. The dodo wouldn't have died if I hadn't worked so hard to save the coelacanth."

"The coelacanth? The prehistoric fish? But how could one possibly affect the other?"

"Ah. Now there you're asking. The complexities of cause and effect defy analysis. Not only is the continuum like a human body, it is also very like a piece of badly put up wallpaper. Push down a bubble somewhere, another one pops up somewhere else. There are no more dodos because of my interference. In the end I imposed the rule on myself because I simply couldn't bear it any more. The only thing that really gets hurt when you try and change time is yourself."

-- Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams

Re:And where do I park my mammoth? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840777)

But we know already that the dodo was not good eating, so what would be the point of bringing it back. Besides, mankind was only indirectly responsible for its extinction. It was the animals that the sailors brought with them (pigs, cats and dogs, rats, and even monkeys) that did the dodo in.

Pleistocene Park (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840785)

what would they do with a mammoth?

Already got that covered: [nationalgeographic.com] Northern Siberia.

Who cares? The only thik we need is one gene... (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25839921)

The only thing we need is to find the one gene that actually cause "big mammoth hairs" and implant it to elephant.

Why not bring them back (5, Informative)

pinguwin (807635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840025)

It's far from certain that mammoth died out simply from climate change. Take a look at this link: http://packrat.aml.arizona.edu/Journal/v37n1/vartanyan.html [arizona.edu] Mammoth survived thousands of years beyond what most people think, into historic times (1700 b.c) It was a place that man didn't reach (hmmm...coincidence?), but Wrangel Island was too small to support a large population of them. It seems that wherever man went, large animals encountered "climate change". I don't doubt that climate was an issue, but nor do I doubt that man was either.

I'm thinking of writing a book on the subject (1)

uberjack (1311219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840223)

It's called "Billy and the Cloneasaurus"

As old as 60k? Cool: Neanderthal Slaves. (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840275)

Now we can get Neanderthal DNA and create an army of slaves for when the oil runs out.

Jesus Christ, Man! (1, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840291)

Quick, tell the fundies that they can get the DNA from the Shroud of Turin and, for $10,000,000, they'll have the second coming!

They can also get DNA from one of the millions pf pieces of the cross that are floating around (there's enough pieces of the cross to build a fleet of arks, but that's another story - must be the old "loaves and fishes" trick writ large).

How many people would like to own a clone of Jesus? Or for Catholics - a special - a clone of Mary - you can be the first to Fuck the Mother of God!!! Create a Jesus that has YOUR DNA!!! Only $10,000,000.00

And for atheists - imagine being able to tell Jesus to STFU in PERSON! $10 a head, come on ....

... and we'd no longer see those stupid "What Would Jesus Do" stickers. We'd just ask him ... think of the $$$ from endorsements!

... and we could see if Wilsons' Nails really ARE better ...

... and he'd be a natural first-round draft choice for goalie in the NHL - everyone knows "Jesus Saves!"

... and instead of doing the pretend-cannibalism of "take, drink, this is my blood, take, eat, this is my body" - you could clone parts of him and serve real Jesus Steak, or a real McJesusBurger. Or combine it with fish DNA and get Holy Mackerel!

... and now, if there's damage caused by an "Act of God", you can have someone to SUE!

Stephen Baxter's Behemoth (3, Interesting)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840309)

Stephen Baxter's Behemoth [amazon.com] is an omnibus of three books which deal with mammoths. The third book is actually about mammoths being genetically engineered back into existence, and there is actually one individual who is halfway between elephant and mammoth. Very cool books.

Not likely... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840317)

Genetic expression is far more complex than we even imagined just a few years ago. Giving scientists a DNA map to use to recreate the organism would be like giving hurricane refugees a set of blueprints and telling them to go build their house...it takes more than the plans, it takes tools, skills, abilities, transcription information and techniques that simply do not exist and, in the case of transcription information, will never exist. This is all just PR with the wooly mammoth as a sexy icon. Who gets the money? That's where to look...

Wake Up - prevention is better than cure! (1, Troll)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840409)

Instead of fretting about the long-gone mammoth, [sciencedaily.com] why don't we prevent the extinction [bbc.co.uk] of thousands [wikipedia.org] of plant, [well.com] fish [greenpeace.org.uk] and animal [iucnredlist.org] species that is occurring EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY OF EVERY YEAR due to HUMAN ACTIVITY? [bbc.co.uk]

Moare (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25840489)

stagnant. As Linux confirmed that *BSD Would chhose to use Have an IRC client

The New Must-Have for Tech Billionaires (4, Insightful)

kbob88 (951258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840493)

Forget rides to the space station or owning an electronic car company... the new must-have for tech multi-millionaires should be having your own herd of resurrected extinct species.

Somebody call Sergey and Larry and see if they can spare $10mm. Just don't fly the 767 for a few weeks and that'll save enough for the effort.

Then call Elon Musk and see if he wants to recreate the dodo or the Tasmanian tiger.

Or we make it trendy for celebrities -- forget adopting babies from Africa, the new trend is adopting and recreating extinct species! Get Angelina on board and everyone else will follow.

Re:The New Must-Have for Tech Billionaires (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840681)

I hear the Dodo was truly tasty too!

Same technology? (1)

NewsWatcher (450241) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840515)

"The same technology could be applied to any other extinct species from which one can obtain hair, horn, hooves, fur or feathers, and which went extinct within the last 60,000 years, the effective age limit for DNA."
Well, the mammoth technology works because they can implant the fertilised egg into an elephant, which is a close relative of the mammoth.

What happens when you try to clone a Tasmanian tiger? Where do you put the fertilised egg? Tasmanian devils are probably the most closely related, but still very different. They are marsupials, so probably not such a huge issue carrying the foetus.

I would love to see an emu trying to crap out a Moa egg though? There are limitations to this technology. It won't work for any extinct animal for which DNA exists.

But for my money, the clone I would most like to see is Otzi [about.com] everyone's favourite ice-man.

Re:Same technology? (2, Interesting)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840769)

"...But for my money, the clone I would most like to see is Otzi [about.com] everyone's favourite ice-man."

What you fail to understand, in this instance, is that 'Otzi', the person, was a product of the time and environment in which he lived. Science would gain little from cloning him because his clone, a new, separate, human consciousness, would be a product of this time period. Humans have changed very little, from an evolutionary standpoint, since the conscious being that was 'Otzi' existed. The only thing that we could possibly gain from an 'Otzi' clone would be a slightly better understanding of the function of the human appendix.

Why not just clone a dodo? (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 5 years ago | (#25840543)

That'd be easier to deal with. Plus all the scientists on the project could have the best Thanksgiving ever.
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