Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Mammoth Practical Joke

Scientists are moving closer to reanimating the mammoth. Researchers have worked out much of the mammoth's genome from frozen specimens. When its full genome is decoded, scientists can manipulate its close relative the elephant's DNA to recreate the mammoth genome. Using an elephant surrogate, the first mammoth in 10,000 years could be born. It's Michael Crichton's stories come true. Theoretically, similar techniques could be applied to bring back Neanderthal and the Hobbit. Truly amazing stuff. And it will almost certainly be the most elaborate practical joke ever played on an elephant. Can you imagine the look on her face?

(image credit: BBC,