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Still Waters

Scientists sign deal to clone woolly mammoth

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Russian and South Korean scientists signed a deal on Tuesday on joint research intended to recreate a woolly mammoth, an animal which last walked the earth some 10,000 years ago.

The deal was signed by Vasily Vasiliev, vice rector of North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic, and controversial cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-Suk of South Korea's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation.

Hwang was a national hero until some of his research into creating human stem cells was found in 2006 to have been faked. But his work in creating Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, in 2005, has been verified by experts.

Stem cell scientists are now setting their sights on the extinct woolly mammoth, after global warming thawed Siberia's permafrost and uncovered remains of the animal.

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Slightly off topic but I wonder how old the first human clone will be before being introduced to the world? No one says much in the media but you know it's being planned and pursued.

Seeing a wooly mammoth would be awesome!

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Yaaay! I am one step closer to getting my Compsognathus!

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I want a mini mammoth.

Large enough that I could still ride it, though.

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Munch munch. Humm... tastes like buffalo....

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I must have heard this mammoth story a hundred times, the first one back in the eighties when I was a kid, and no mammoth loomed on the horizon up to now. I guess they're expecting donations for their research, and then bye bye the mammoth and hello the Hawaian dolphins !

Incoming article : "A joint American and European research effort has been launched in a bid to create a Cloak of Invisibility"

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I must have heard this mammoth story a hundred times, the first one back in the eighties when I was a kid, and no mammoth loomed on the horizon up to now. I guess they're expecting donations for their research, and then bye bye the mammoth and hello the Hawaian dolphins !

Incoming article : "A joint American and European research effort has been launched in a bid to create a Cloak of Invisibility"

Already created...somewhat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloak_of_invisibility

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Posted (edited)

If successful this could prove to be a viable food source if domesticated, due to the sheer volume of mass edible meat that could be harvested off the animal. If inbred with a successful offspring continuously over time could result in a close resemblance to a real mammoth.

Can the long-extinct mammoth be resurrected through the alchemy of modern biology?
Such hopes were raised yet again last week by the recent discovery, in the permafrost of Siberia’s Yamal peninsula, of a 6-month-old female that died perhaps 10,000 years ago.

“It’s a lovely little baby mammoth indeed, found in perfect condition,” Alexei Tikhonov, the deputy director of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Reuters last week.

The best hope would be if some of her eggs had been preserved in arrested state, much the way human eggs are stored in the freezers of fertility clinics. Sperm from an elephant could possibly tickle the egg awake from its long hibernation.

But mammoths rarely die in the controlled-temperature conditions necessary to preserve eggs without harm. Intact organs are seldom found. To retrieve viable sperm or eggs “seems an even more remote chance,” said Alex Greenwood, a biologist at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., who has worked on mammoth DNA.

The alternative, far more laborious, would be to analyze the sequence of DNA units in the mammoth’s genome, make a copy of the DNA, and have it take over an elephant’s egg.

frozen-woolly-mammoth-baby.jpg

Each of those steps has long seemed impossible. But advances in the last few months have made each seem slightly less daunting. Analyzing the DNA sequence is complicated by the fact that ancient DNA, when it can be retrieved at all from fossil bones, is always highly degraded. The genome in every cell breaks down after death into thousands of small fragments of DNA. mammoth1.jpg

But a new kind of DNA decoding machine happens to use such fragments as its starting material. At McMaster University in Canada, Hendrik Poinar and Régis Debruyne plan to use of one the machines, from 454 Life Sciences, to reconstruct a mammoth genome. The remaining obstacle is money. If they had $1 million, they could generate a rough draft of a mammoth genome in about a month, Dr. Debruyne said.

The reconstructed sequence of DNA units would then need to be turned into an actual mammoth genome. Mammalian genomes are made up of chromosomes of about 100 million DNA units in length and are beyond the capacity of current synthesis. Still, researchers at the Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., say they are close to synthesizing the genome of a bacterium that is 500,000 units long.

The third problem is that the DNA molecule in each chromosome is festooned with special proteins that control and read out its genetic information. No one knows how to add these proteins to DNA, but Venter Institute researchers showed last month that, at least in the case of bacteria, a naked piece of DNA inserted into a cell will somehow acquire the right control proteins and then take over the cell.

Resurrecting the mammoth is still not possible, but has become at least worth thinking about

.

-Information gathered from:-> http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/weekinreview/15basic.html

-Picture taken from Google.

Edited by Pale

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yah, one step closer a aurochs back to life! Giant steaks, here I come!

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Slightly off topic but I wonder how old the first human clone will be before being introduced to the world? No one says much in the media but you know it's being planned and pursued.

Seeing a wooly mammoth would be awesome!

I think it is very possible a human has already been cloned, but the scientific community will have to stay silent about him/her for this person's own safety (think religious nuts being convinced s/he is the son/daughter of Lucifer or something, that s/he has no 'soul' and all that mind-numbing idiocy).

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yah, one step closer a aurochs back to life! Giant steaks, here I come!

Tyranosauros steaks

Mmmmmmmmm

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I can't wait to eat a mammoth.

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OMG, Pale - who eat's elephant? So gross and what an awful thought. ;\

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My question would be why? Why clone the Mammoth? Just because we can? What would be the life of a returned Mammoth? Would they be reintroduced to the wild? Again, to what end? So big game hunters will have something new to shoot at? I don't know, I see several ways in which this would be a poor decision for the Mammoth. Maybe it's just me though.

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Why don't they clone Albert Einstein, at least he might have something useful to say on this subject.

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Slave2Fate, you ask why? Well, it's pretty simple.... The mammoth as an animal is brilliantly useful for humans. Not only is it huge and most likely domesticat(able) but it could provide a HUGE amount of edible food. Next they are covered in fur, therefore, this could be skinned and used as clothing and other useful things. Next they are perfectly suited to cold environments, so, guess what? They could be used as a food source in areas which otherwise has few.

So, yeah, this is a huge investment but a huge payoff if it works.

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MMMM Munch Munch ....... Munch Munch. Does this Mammoth come with fries?!

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Forget eating a Mammoth, I can't wait to ride one! ;D

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Think of the insect or animal you find most frightening. Now imagine a gigantic, prehistoric version of it traveling through your neighborhood. That's what our future will be like if we don't stop these mad scientists. I'm not exaggerating.

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OMG, Pale - who eat's elephant? So gross and what an awful thought. ;\

Well ,why do you think Obama made it legal to slaughter wild horses for food.

The first horse slaughter houses,are in the works.

*vomits* on both possibilities.

Humans suck so bad .....seriously.

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Slave2Fate, you ask why? Well, it's pretty simple.... The mammoth as an animal is brilliantly useful for humans. Not only is it huge and most likely domesticat(able) but it could provide a HUGE amount of edible food. Next they are covered in fur, therefore, this could be skinned and used as clothing and other useful things. Next they are perfectly suited to cold environments, so, guess what? They could be used as a food source in areas which otherwise has few.

So, yeah, this is a huge investment but a huge payoff if it works.

Did someone set the calendar back to 10,000 BC when I wasn't looking?

So we use a fairly expensive and time consuming method to bring a species back from extinction for food? How very...human.

I would be very disappointed to see Mammoths brought back just to be exploited, for any reason.

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Posted (edited)

Did someone set the calendar back to 10,000 BC when I wasn't looking?

So we use a fairly expensive and time consuming method to bring a species back from extinction for food? How very...human.

I would be very disappointed to see Mammoths brought back just to be exploited, for any reason.

Hi S2F

I cannot see the prime reason being for more food. We are attempting to grow meat in laboratories. I really think motivations would be more along the lines of medical advances, and perhaps even self preservation. It could be used to assist species that are in serious danger of extinction, like the Tassie Devil and the tumour growths. I think it would make everyones inner PETA feel good that we resurrected a species we are responsible for helping destroy. One major advantage is that it would teach us much about cloning itself and any risks involved. Often, animals like mice are genetically engineered to carry disease causing mutations. It is an intensive process, and can require generations of breeding. Cloned animals would significantly reduce such costs too, if we could "get it right" I think medicine would be the one who would benefit the most. I think stem cell research would get a huge boost if the process was better understood. From a more emotional viewpoint, I have read that some US company is cloning recently deceased cats for the rich and famous. Not sure how true that is.

ETA

But why a Mammoth? Probably because it is there.

Edited by psyche101

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id buy a ticket to see it....

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Hi S2F

I cannot see the prime reason being for more food. We are attempting to grow meat in laboratories. I really think motivations would be more along the lines of medical advances, and perhaps even self preservation. It could be used to assist species that are in serious danger of extinction, like the Tassie Devil and the tumour growths. I think it would make everyones inner PETA feel good that we resurrected a species we are responsible for helping destroy. One major advantage is that it would teach us much about cloning itself and any risks involved. Often, animals like mice are genetically engineered to carry disease causing mutations. It is an intensive process, and can require generations of breeding. Cloned animals would significantly reduce such costs too, if we could "get it right" I think medicine would be the one who would benefit the most. I think stem cell research would get a huge boost if the process was better understood. From a more emotional viewpoint, I have read that some US company is cloning recently deceased cats for the rich and famous. Not sure how true that is.

ETA

But why a Mammoth? Probably because it is there.

Hey psyche, good to see you my friend! :tu:

I never said I was against the idea, I just think that something doesn't feel right about bringing back an animal just to be exploited. I can certainly understand the medical advances and furthering biological research. Hopefully the Mammoth can be left to roam the tundras the way they once did and not end up at the business end of a big bore rifle or in a cage for people to gawk at. And hopefully the ecosystem can still support an animal of such magnitude.

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Posted (edited)

Very odd that the subject of bringing back an extinct animal leads to most people pondering eating its flesh, or maybe not so strange, that is likely why it became extinct in the first place.

Edited by Habitat

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