Scientists have decoded the genome of the woolly mammoth by analysing hairs plucked from carcasses recovered from the Siberian permafrost. The feat was hailed as a milestone in genetic science yesterday and is the first time an extinct animal has had its genome sequenced.
Msg#: 3791278 posted 9:20 am on Nov 22, 2008 (gmt 0)
Theoretically, it would be possible to recreate a mammoth by genetically modifying an elephant embryo to carry all of the 400,000 important genetic differences that exist between the species. With today's technology, however, scientists can only make one genetic change at a time.
Next year, scientists are expected to reveal the full genetic code of our own most recent ancestor, the Neanderthal. Genetic differences between Neanderthals and modern humans could reveal why humans came to be the dominant species on Earth.
It poses an interesting moral question. If one could recreate a mammoth, one could therefore recreate a Neanderthal.
1. Presumably you put the new mammoth in a zoo 2. Presumably you put the new Neanderthal........
Msg#: 3791278 posted 9:39 am on Nov 22, 2008 (gmt 0)
one could therefore recreate a Neanderthal.
More worryingly, one could apply the differences between Neanderthals and modern Humans to another ape and create an intelligent slave species; not human enough to have rights but human enough to provide useful work.
im however against cloning humans... but only dumb humans.
Being dumb is not always a genetic condition; it is often the result of psychological trauma or neural damage later in life. I don't think that in itself the disability should make someone unsuitable for cloning.