Day 148: Bring back the wooly mammoth

A couple of months ago I posted on Stewart Brand’s talk, ‘The Dawn of De-extinction.’ There has been a TEDx specifically focused on de- extinction. In this talk, Heindrik Poinar outlines why we should bring back the woolly mammoth.
The mammoth is a mythical creature for humans; partly, because they have been so well preserved and partly because they remind us of elephants. Elephants share many human behaviours; they are social animals who bury their dead, for example.
Because mammoths found in Siberia have been so well preserved, scientists can study full brains and attempt to extract DNA. Poinar admits that they for fully understand the engineering of DNA, yet he is in prime position in his role as principal investigator at the ‘Ancient DNA Center’ of McMaster university to study this. And the news is, they’re very close to sequencing the mammoth genome. Within our lifetimes we may see a creature closely resembling the woolly mammoth rise again.


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