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Friday, January 14, 2011

Coffee!! Cloning extinct species: Jurassic Parking lot closer than we think?

Mammoth from La Brea tarpit

“Mammoth could be reborn in four years"Julian Ryall reports for Britain's Telegraph (13 Jan 2011):
The woolly mammoth, extinct for thousands of years, could be brought back to life in as little as four years thanks to a breakthrough in cloning technology.

Previous efforts in the 1990s to recover nuclei in cells from the skin and muscle tissue from mammoths found in the Siberian permafrost failed because they had been too badly damaged by the extreme cold.

But a technique pioneered in 2008 by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama, of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology, was successful in cloning a mouse from the cells of another mouse that had been frozen for 16 years.

[... ]

"The success rate in the cloning of cattle was poor until recently but now stands at about 30 per cent," he said. "I think we have a reasonable chance of success and a healthy mammoth could be born in four or five years."
What would it mean if humans recovered (not just discovered) a number of extinct species?

Note: Photo is by WolfmanSF, Wikimedia Commons

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