It’s with a heavy heart one points out the rhinoceros at the local zoo and explains to the kids they may be looking at one of the last of the species, so it’s incredible to consider the possibility those same kids may soon see the reintroduction of a species that went extinct thousands of years ago thanks to modern science.
Scientists from Japan’s Kinki University and the Sakha Republic’s mammoth museum have discovered well preserved marrow in a thigh bone discovered in Siberia, buried under the permafrost. The marrow is in such good condition that its cells’ DNA could be used to replace the nuclei of elephant egg cells. This will allow scientist to create mammoth embryos.
Elephants will also hopefully carry the embryos to term, meaning it could only be a matter of time before herds of mammoth are once again roaming the frosty plains.
Of course, it’s hard not to consider the 101 reasons why this is a bad idea: mammoth flu, climate change shrinking the environment in which they’re most comfortable before they’re even reborn, how to market a juicy mammoth steak to choosy consumers. Then, again, if we are, in fact, to blame for their extinction in the first place, maybe we deserve whatever’s coming to us.
Wonders of science.
Photo credit: WikipediaAuthor on Google+