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General Discussion & Feedback => Radio Show & Podcast Feedback => Topic started by: hsien on 12/01/2006 20:03:16

Title: DNA
Post by: hsien on 12/01/2006 20:03:16
is it true that you can make Dinosaurs with their DNA from Bones.
Like in a Film.
If that dosent work does it work with the frozen Mammut in Siberia???

Title: Re: DNA
Post by: another_someone on 13/01/2006 08:13:52
Firstly, DNA degrades over time.  Depending upon the environment, it can be over fairly short periods of time.

One of the stories I heard was that it was originally hoped that the victims of the Asian tsunami on 2004 would be able to be identified by their DNA, but even the short period they spent in the sea was enough to degrade their DNA to the level that it often could not be used for DNA testing.  In order to test DNA, you need much of the DNA there, but if you wish to recreate an animal, you need all of the DNA there.

That at least is the issue regarding the DNA itself.  Beyond that, you need to perfect the cloning techniques to be able to insert the DNA into the cell of another animal and create a clone of the original.  We have seen with the recent scandal in Korea, that much work yet has to be done perfecting cloning methods.

One also has to look at epigenetic inheritance, which will not be available from the DNA.

With regard to mammoths, they at least have the advantage that, apart from being more recent, are closely related to modern elephants,

Since there is a known case in which an Indian elephant and an African elephant have produced a live (though sickly) offspring, it has been theorised that if mammoths were still alive today, they would be able to interbreed with Indian elephants.
This has led to the idea that perhaps a mammoth-like beast could be recreated by taking genetic material from a frozen mammoth and combining it with that from a modern Indian elephant. Scientists hope to retrieve the preserved reproductive organs of a frozen mammoth and revive its sperm cells. However, not enough genetic material has been found in frozen mammoths for this to be attempted.
As an important landmark in this direction, in December 2005, a team of German, UK & American researchers were able to assemble a complete mitochondrial DNA of the mammoth, which allowed to trace the close evolutionary relationship between mammoth and Asian elephant. African elephants branched away from the woolly mammoth around 6 million years ago, a moment in time intriguingly close to that of the similar split between gorillas, chimps and humans.