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Author Topic: Can we bring back the wooly mammoth?  (Read 3486 times)

Offline thedoc

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Can we bring back the wooly mammoth?
« on: 22/07/2014 21:25:29 »
Could a resurrection of an ancient species, as seen in Jurassic Park, ever actually be possible?
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here
or Listen to it now or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 22/07/2014 21:25:29 by _system »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can we bring back the wooly mammoth?
« Reply #1 on: 23/07/2014 10:35:40 »
Perhaps one "extinct" animal that is being brought back to life is the Quagga.  The idea is to take a closely related species (in this case, the plains zebra), and select the desired characteristics of the extinct animal. 

One could do a similar project with elephants with a selective breeding program to develop extra large, cold tolerant hairy elephants.  With a long maturity period, it may take centuries, or perhaps even thousands of years to breed in the desired Mammoth characteristics.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Can we bring back the wooly mammoth?
« Reply #2 on: 26/07/2014 21:18:55 »
Perhaps one "extinct" animal that is being brought back to life is the Quagga.  The idea is to take a closely related species (in this case, the plains zebra), and select the desired characteristics of the extinct animal. 

One could do a similar project with elephants with a selective breeding program to develop extra large, cold tolerant hairy elephants.  With a long maturity period, it may take centuries, or perhaps even thousands of years to breed in the desired Mammoth characteristics.
It seems to me it'd be easier simply to clone them. See
http://io9.com/russian-scientists-we-have-a-high-chance-of-cloning-1543713621
Quote
An exquisitely preserved wooly mammoth is currently undergoing an autopsy in Siberia. Some experts believe they'll be able to extract high quality DNA and cells from the remains which could conceivably be used to clone the extinct mammal. The question now is, should we?
...
The samples were so amazingly well-preserved that fresh flowing blood was found within muscle tissue.
...
As reported by the Siberian Times, the scientists have dissected the mammoth, revealing 43,000-year-old soft tissue that's better preserved than those of a human buried for six months.
I say definitely yes! I'm only worried about how the animal would be treated. If we could be promised that it'd be treated very humanely then I'd say yes for certain.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can we bring back the wooly mammoth?
« Reply #3 on: 27/07/2014 06:53:34 »
What is treating it humanely?
Keeping in a zoo with 3 square meals a day?
Sending it out into the wild in the Alaskan Tundra, where life is harsh. 
Breeding and slaughtering as livestock?


There seems to be more of a fascination with Mammoths than pretty much any other (recently) extinct animal.  Not only would one have to be cloned, but both a male and female would have to be cloned. 

Could one edit the genome to give it 100% "functional" genes in a species that we don't have a single exemplar, but at least enough to give it a fighting chance against some of the problems of extreme inbreeding. 

Keep in mind that most of the cloning attempts have been marginal at best.  Perhaps one should strive for a much higher success rate in common livestock, or very recently extinct animals before attempting to clone a mammoth.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Can we bring back the wooly mammoth?
« Reply #4 on: 27/07/2014 22:59:41 »
Clone the Mammoth! Canada needs big furry elephants. It just makes sense.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Can we bring back the wooly mammoth?
« Reply #5 on: 29/07/2014 04:09:50 »
Quote from: CliffordK
What is treating it humanely?
Oh, come on Cliff. Are you actually serious about this? The human treatment of animals is a well-known concept to educated people and you are certainly an educated person. So why would you ask such a question?

I wouldn't want the animal to be treated with anything other than compassion. Not for his entire life to be an entire series of lab experiments, i.e. certainly not from one minute to the next for the next 100 years.

I would take the meaning of humane as generally obvious regardless of whether each and every possible action whether it be a trivial action or  a major one. But if you need it written out by a lawyer then start here
http://www.nh.gov/humane/
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/humane
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humane
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/humane
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1717&ChapterID=41

Read The Meaning of Human at http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/the-meaning-of-humane/#.U9cNszog-cw

I haven't read the first one through and through yet but I imagine it has the appropriate idea. Basically you treat them with care. You don't put then in a room so small that they can't move. If there's a period of time where they have to be in a stall then the stall is cleaned on a regular basis so as to maintain cleanliness. I.e. you don't wait until the animal feces is a foot thick (please don't be ignorant and start asking questions like how many inches or feet is okay).

Quote from: CliffordK
Keeping in a zoo with 3 square meals a day?
Sending it out into the wild in the Alaskan Tundra, where life is harsh. 
Breeding and slaughtering as livestock?
Each of those are humane.

Zoo: Ideally and by law, animals are treated quite humanely in zoos. However with such an animal it would be sharply watched by the public and hopefully public opinion would ensure proper treatment.

Wildlife in Trundra: Typically the term "humane" refers to the treatment of an animal that is kept outside the wild and not in the wild so this really doesn't apply. However if I were forced to then for the Wooly Mammoth, Alaska was one of its habitats as was Siberia, so sure. An animal living in its natural environment could be considered humane in that context.

The third is unlikely. Nobody would clone an a Wooly Mammoth just to eat it after its grown up. However if its treated humanely while its being fattened up for eats then that's what counts. What happens after its dead does not apply to how its treated while its alive. But I'd be against cloning animals to eat them. That's mere stupidity.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Can we bring back the wooly mammoth?
« Reply #6 on: 29/07/2014 04:10:50 »
Clone the Mammoth! Canada needs big furry elephants. It just makes sense.
Responses like this are why I luv ya Cheryl! :)
 

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Re: Can we bring back the wooly mammoth?
« Reply #6 on: 29/07/2014 04:10:50 »

 

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