Exactly How Easy Would It Be To Clone A Wooly Mammoth?

Posted by on December 8th, 2011


How difficult is it to clone one of the most iconic extinct beasts in the history of the planet? Not as hard as you think.

Then again, that depends on how hard you think it is. If you think it’s impossible, it’s going to be quicker. If you think it’s like getting ready for a half marathon, you better recalibrate your patience.

If everything went perfectly according to plan, we could be chilling with Mammoth style within 20-50 years says Hendrik Poinar, an evolutionary geneticist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. That is if we can get over a few ethical issues. Like, you know, bringing a long dead animal back from the dark expanse of oblivion in a vastly different climate from what it previously lived and died in.

“There is no good scientific reason to bring back an extinct species,” Poinar said. “Why would one bring them back? To put them in a theme park? Doesn’t seem like a good use of taxpayer dollars to me. Simply studying their evolution, which can be done from old fossil bones, seems far more satisfying to me — but that’s just me.”

“Someone is going to do this eventually, ethics or no,” Poinar said. “And it might be expensive to try and clone mammoths, but how many people would visit the zoo to see one?”

Who would go see a Wooly Mammoth?


[Live Science]

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