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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

De-extinction & Woolly Mammoths

De-extinction & Woolly Mammoths

Elephants, Woolly Mammoths, & Humans (artist concept credit: TED)

 

The last woolly mammoths went extinct about 3000 BCE, likely on some Arctic islands. Long before the last ice aga, early humans left remarkably detailed cave paintings of these massive, shaggy beasts that still produce wonder by viewers today.

What if the creatures could be brought back by using modern genetics and biotechnology? The first step on the path to de-extinction, would require to sequencing of the woolly mammoth genome which has been announced. One modern elephant species, the Asian elephant, is a suitable surrogate for embryo transplantation. Hendrik Poinar a geneticist at McMaster University in Canada presents a strategy for bringing back the mammoth from extinction in his presentation to a TED audience. The possibility continues to grow that mammoths may once again roam the Arctic tundra.

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