Reviving the Woolly Mammoth out of the polar ice.

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Offline Titanscape

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Is it possible to revive the Wooly Mammoth from the frozen specimens in the polar ice, from their frozen seed, DNA? All this before the ice melts and they finally decay?

I suppose through veterinarian artificial insemination or the creation of a seed, egg pair, in which healthy elephants cells are taken and the Nucleus is replaces with the freshly warmed specimen, and then placed inside an elephants uterus.

Also considering the possibility of ancient diseases, as a problem.
« Last Edit: 26/12/2012 10:27:55 by Titanscape »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Reviving the Wooly Mammoth out of the polar ice.
« Reply #1 on: 26/12/2012 18:58:35 »
Also considering the possibility of ancient diseases, as a problem.
Fortunately there are no mammoths left to infect with mammoth diseases, although potentially a mammoth disease could jump into elephants.   While viruses may be re-activated, I find it unlikely that 20,000 year old bacteria would spontaneously regenerate.

I have no doubt there will be an attempt to clone a Mammoth in the next few decades, in part because there are some very good specimens available, and the human fascination with mammoths.  One still might ask why.  Do extinct animals have any inherent "right to exist"?

Certainly the project will be very complicated.  While an intact corpse would provide substantial DNA for sequencing, undoubtedly 20,000 year old DNA would be highly degraded. 

Thus, each chromosome would have to be reassembled prior to cloning. 

An intermediary step would undoubtedly be to build an immortal cell line in which the mammoth chromosomes could be manipulated prior to injecting into an Elephant egg.  Would elephant mitochondria be sufficient?

From a male, one should be able to build both XX and XY offspring.  However, inbreeding would be a huge problem. 

One option might be to analyse each of the 20,000 genes for viability.  If one did a comparative analysis of several individuals, one could at least build a chromosome pair with 100% functional genes which could limit the impact of inbreeding, but would be a lot of work.

I suppose, at least with careful gene by gene analysis and assembling chromosome pairs, the likelihood of reactivating a prehistoric virus could be minimized.

The tools required, and the level of analysis required to build a functional mammoth chromosome set with no detrimental mutations would likely have the benefit of helping us understand human DNA and genetic processes.