Well that's the plan anyway if a team of Japanese scientists get their way.
Read more here.
I borrowed Wibbs' crystal ball for that one!
By purest coincidence this was mentioned on a tv show here yesterday. The mamoth was a small example of one of the systems in trying to clone dinosaurs. Hmmm!
Anyway apparently as DNA is so frgile it seemed to be unlikely, however in reovering a fossil leg bone it was found to be too heavy to remove from the site in one piece, and was carefully broken into pieces to get it back to base.
The pieces were then taken to a university lab to reassemble. Using electron microscopes they found small pieces of fossil matter and cleaned them up, by the process of cleaning a l;ab assistant noticed that the fossilised tissue became pliable.
Further tests were done on other bones in a museum with the same results. Again under electron microscope it was found that the bones contained small organic cells that were too small to become fossilised but were and are used to build bone tissue.
It has not gone much further as far as I know, but if the tissue is still pliable they seem to think that DNA may be obtainable in microscopic quantities. If this is so, artificial means can increase the amount of DNA.
The surmising is along the lines of if there is enough produced, it may be possible to clone a dinosaur of some description.
Personally I am dubious about this, but you never know until it is actually attempted.
Using this "supply" of DNA and devolving 'suitable' birds they said they may be able to clone something in the not too distant future.
Well thats what they said anyway.
I think they should clone the dodo first. Then I'd like to eat one to see what all the fuss was about.
You'd probably be disappointed. reports from the time say that the dodo was not a tasty bird.
"journals are full of reports regarding the bad taste and tough meat of the dodo, while other local species such as the Red Rail were praised for their taste"
As with a lot of science, it needs a commercial application before it could ever be widely adapted.
This is one of those ideas that definitely has a commercial possibilities. From a natural prehistoric reserve, to something like the hunting preserves in South Africa. While I am not a fan of trophy hunting, there is no doubt that the money that it brings in has helped to prevent vulnerable species from going the way of the mammoth in recent years.
There are plenty of loonies in the US who would pay HUGE money to shoot a wooly mammoth!
I think 5 years could be quite optimistic. The mouse research succeeded in getting clonable DNA from frozen brain and blood in which the cell and nuclear membranes had been mashed up due to freeze-damage. Despite this cellular damage, the extracted DNA was intact enough to allow cloning in new egg cells. The mammoth DNA, though, will be a hundred to a thousand times older, and could be so sheared that there won't be viable chromosomes to allow the technique to work.
Even if it could work, I'm not convinced we should go ahead and make mammoths. I don't know what purpose it would serve other than making some new zoo curiosity.
What's their idea for gestating the beast?
Will they bring it to mid term then cut it out of a host animal or something? I imagine there is no mammal big enough to carry a mammoth foetus to full term.
I think it's whack it in an elephant and see what happens.
Wooly mammoths were only marginaly bigger than modern African elephants. Of course, in terms of gestation it doesn't take much difference to really mess things up.
When the bucardo was cloned it only lived a few minutes as it was deformed from not fitting in the womb properly.
Their meat was said to be downright unpalatable, and they were apparently clubbed to death for 'sport' rather than food.
I read this book awhile back 'Mammoth: The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant' by Richard Stone. It also predicted cloning but it was a more long term time-period, with the difficulties of finding viable DNA emphasised.
I think the main reason for their rapid extinction was the introduction of pigs to their habitat. Wild pigs made a habit of raiding the round based dodo nests. Dodos reproduced very slowly (one egg per year between a breeding pair, if at all) to avoid overpopulating their small island habitat. It only took a relatively small number of eggs per year being eaten by pigs to have disasterous effects on the dodo population.
maybe their hair might have interesting thermal properties
you could ride them on polar bear hunts , they are big enough that they could probably swim in the cold water too ?
I doubt they could be domesticated but that would be cool
I want the Giant Sloths to be cloned.