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Mammoths in our future - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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November 11th, 2006


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10:20 pm - Mammoths in our future
Here's a very nifty article about analyzing the genetic code of woolly mammoths. In addition to learning a whole lot about mammoths, given that
They used computer analysis to match 13 million of those base pairs to the published genome of the African elephant. The overlap between mammoth and elephant was 98.55 per cent,
once they finish (they need another $500,000 to complete their research, and if I had spare cash, I'd certainly give them some) it seems not impossible to genetically edit an elephant's fertilized egg so that it's has the genetics of a mammoth. Doing both the nuclear and the mitochondrial DNA would be a lot of work, but I'm betting that someone will figure out how to do this and try it within a decade, if not sooner. I'd dearly love some zoo or theme park to have a woolly mammoth exhibit. Ground sloths and woolly rhinos are also likely, given the good quality of preservation for both. Of course, it is also our responsibility to bring back moa, dodos, passenger pigeons, thylocenes and all of the other creature's we've made extinct. In addition to the total coolness factor of being able to see extinct animals, on a spiritual level, the idea of being able to bring back an extinct species, especially one extinct for tens of thousands of years is wondrous and amazing - playing god in one of the best ways possible and making the world a richer and more diverse place. I very much hope this tech proves practical soon.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

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[User Picture]
From:aekiy
Date:November 12th, 2006 07:20 am (UTC)
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I imagine that ought to be a zoo in a very chilly area.. but ya.

I wonder if we'll manage something of a relatively safe nanotechnology that could reliably edit genetic material either prior to or soon after fertilization.. rather than the current methods of using viruses and such..
[User Picture]
From:andrewducker
Date:November 12th, 2006 11:07 am (UTC)
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I suspect it'll be slightly more complex than just changing the DNA, as the hormones and other triggers in the uterus will be different as well. But by repeating the process over a few generations they should be able to get there.
[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 12th, 2006 11:18 am (UTC)
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Good point, although given the closeness between elephants and mammoths, I have no idea how much difference that might make. Of course, there is an excellent way to find out exactly that, I'd guess by the 3rd generation you will be dealing with something exceptionally close to an actual mammoth.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 13th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)
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98.5% doesn't seem that close? Akin to a zebra and a horse (which look similar, but are incompatible).


And, it'd probably be easier to just take a frozen Mammoth & clone the still-viable DNA.

Right?




[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 13th, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
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Actually, I think it's somewhat closer than a horse and zebra, since I think they diverged more than 5 million years ago. Very recent data has indicated that animals previously thought to be exceptionally similar (like us and chimps) are considerably less similar because the ordering of DNA and the distribution of "junk DNA" matters as much as the actual genes.

And, it'd probably be easier to just take a frozen Mammoth & clone the still-viable DNA.

Vastly easier, but it's asking a lot to obtain DNA that is still viable (as opposed to merely readable). If someone manages this, the process will be trivial, but so far no one has found viable mammoth DNA. Also, resequencing the mitochondrial DNA would be necessary, since current tech would still involve using an elephant egg with elephant mitochondrial DNA.
[User Picture]
From:safetygoth
Date:November 13th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
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Hi! It's been quite some time, now and I'm rubbish at keeping up with LJ... This is Jeff Crowl... Mr. Livingston, I presume?
[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 13th, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
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Indeed yes, this is John.
[User Picture]
From:safetygoth
Date:November 13th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
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Hi, John! I didn't know you did LJ... Do you know what Brendan's LJ name is? Cheers!

(By the way: I'm terrible about LJ. I don't update that often and seldom read it. If/When I don't read a post of yours, it's not that I don't like you; I just don't keep up with LJ...)

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