Cloning Technology and the De-extinction of Large Mammals
Video – There is no question that a complicated relationship exists between the environment and the evolution of animal and plant species. Scientists are now studying DNA extracted from the remains of long-dead creatures such as mammoths and giant bears, to learn how environment drives evolution and how certain species affect climate and ecosystem stability.
Below is a video of Beth Shapiro, University of California professor, author of the book, How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction. In her book, Shapiro explores the possibility of mammoth resurrection, as a number of well-preserved species have been found in the past.
“If we really want to bring mammoths back to life, then we’re in luck, as far as DNA preservation goes. It’s in pretty shoddy condition, so hard to piece together, but if we sort through these tiny pieces, finding where they fit along the elephant genome, then we can slowly build a lot of the mammoth genome.” ~ Beth Shapiro
George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard University, and his team are also pursuing mammoth de-extinction, by using DNA technology to insert mammoth genes into the cells of its closest living relative, the Asian elephant. They already have functioning elephant cells with mammoth DNA in them, although completing the cloning process will require much more work.
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