Wooly Mammoth Genes Slipped Into Elephant DNA

SD-Fiend

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Steven Herrera said:
It won't be long before poachers kill the mammoths for their tusks. I'm sure there will be a high price to be paid by big game / big money safari hunters. This is the unfortunate truth about what will happen. It is great that science will be able to resurrect these long gone beasts. I wonder if their instincts to avoid human contact will kick in since it was probably humans who pushed them into extinction in the first place.
I rather doubt that would ever happen. Even if we do get something that actually resembles a Mammoth (aside from a slightly fuzzy elephant) there's no way that they would ever release it into the wild or ever breed enough to make a sustainable population
 

Space Butterfly

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WhiteWalker said:
If we're able to successfully "bring back" an extinct species I'm all for it. We have and still are bringing too many species to extinction. I for one would love a wooly mammoth for a pet since they're quite useful here north of the wall.
You made an account just for this. Nice

On another note we gotta try and film the ice age movies with actual mammoths
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Grouchy Imp said:
Sorry to be 'that guy' in this issue but the boreal zone is characterized by many, many trees and very little large animal life. In fact, with a new influx of cold resistant herbivores like mammoths into the upper regions of Canada and Russia endangered carnivores like arctic wolves, snow leopards and even polar bears could, eventually, start to grow in numbers. There's nothing I love more than making flippant and snarky comments on Internet discussion forums but this is actually kind of a big (and positive) deal ecologically speaking.
Could they eat the trees up there? Never seen an elephant eat a pine before. I wonder if anyone has tried feeding them that before. Not sure of the arboreal diversity in the frozen north.
 
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008Zulu said:
Grouchy Imp said:
Sorry to be 'that guy' in this issue but the boreal zone is characterized by many, many trees and very little large animal life. In fact, with a new influx of cold resistant herbivores like mammoths into the upper regions of Canada and Russia endangered carnivores like arctic wolves, snow leopards and even polar bears could, eventually, start to grow in numbers. There's nothing I love more than making flippant and snarky comments on Internet discussion forums but this is actually kind of a big (and positive) deal ecologically speaking.
Could they eat the trees up there? Never seen an elephant eat a pine before. I wonder if anyone has tried feeding them that before. Not sure of the arboreal diversity in the frozen north.
It's true that the <a href=http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/biomes/boreal.htm>boreal forest is dominated by conifers, and you're bang on the money that elephants aren't adapted to eating them (very few animals are) but mammoths were, as this biome was the predominant environment during their natural period of existence. It remains to be seen whether an elephant/mammoth hybrid would have the same tolerance of it's artificial ancestors, but I would imagine that even if the first hybrid does not then successive implantation of mammoth DNA into the most recent hybrid, slowly creating subjects that are more and more mammoth and less and less elephant, would yield positive results.
 

Thaluikhain

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Hopefully this won't encourage people to give up on conservation in the hope we'll un-extinct things later on.
 

Skatologist

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Imperioratorex Caprae said:
Oh lord... please save us from genetecists. I understand it, its awesome. I just have a paranoid fear that messing with genes is a minefield, and we're Dogmeat.
... Jurassic Park doesn't look so far away now does it?

thaluikhain said:
Hopefully this won't encourage people to give up on conservation in the hope we'll un-extinct things later on.
Why do I think people will actually do this. "It's fine if they go extinct, we'll just get their DNA sequences, put them in a close relative, and we'll have more than ever in 50 years."

Wouldn't mind if they could do this for some of the larger feline species that have gone extinct in recent years though.

I already sort of knew a few geneticists across the world wanting to do this for some time. I think it was a recent textbook I saw that had estimates of mammoth cloning coming within the next 15 years, and that book was/is already a few years old.

Guessing zoos across the globe will hold them for a good long time. What an attraction would that be? "Hey, this species that has been extinct for literal thousands of years has now resurfaced and you can come here and pet it."

I F*cking Love Science.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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Skatologist said:
Imperioratorex Caprae said:
Oh lord... please save us from genetecists. I understand it, its awesome. I just have a paranoid fear that messing with genes is a minefield, and we're Dogmeat.
... Jurassic Park doesn't look so far away now does it?
Maybe, but that doesn't worry me as much as the idea of reintroducing things that have been long dead. We've no frickin' clue how they will affect the ecosystem... And human scientists are notorious for having that issue as the absolute last thing they care about.
At least thats how it seems to me.
As cool as genetics is, it also kinda freaks me the fuck out. I don't know why.
 

beastro

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Skatologist said:
Imperioratorex Caprae said:
Oh lord... please save us from genetecists. I understand it, its awesome. I just have a paranoid fear that messing with genes is a minefield, and we're Dogmeat.
... Jurassic Park doesn't look so far away now does it?
And people keep missing the point of JP or haven't read the book.

The animals in JP weren't dinosaurs. They were creations of genetic tampering that were a cocktail of different animals to make them into the semblance of dinosaurs.

That's the entire point of "It's all an illusion" that was poorly translated into the movie. They weren't dinosaurs or the reptiles and amphibians whose DNA filled the gaps, they were something else, something new that was 100% synthetic, and as a result, were a giant unknown in how they'd behave.

That last point ties into the park itself claiming to have everything understood and under check when the whole basis of it were animals who were still finding the limits of their genetic code and finding they could act in unpredictable ways that brought on disaster.

The same stands here, you wouldn't be resurrecting mammoths, you'd just be creating new animals, freaks that are shallow imitations to please those who don't know enough or don't care that they're not the real deal.

Imperioratorex Caprae said:
Skatologist said:
Imperioratorex Caprae said:
Oh lord... please save us from genetecists. I understand it, its awesome. I just have a paranoid fear that messing with genes is a minefield, and we're Dogmeat.
... Jurassic Park doesn't look so far away now does it?
Maybe, but that doesn't worry me as much as the idea of reintroducing things that have been long dead. We've no frickin' clue how they will affect the ecosystem... And human scientists are notorious for having that issue as the absolute last thing they care about.
At least thats how it seems to me.
As cool as genetics is, it also kinda freaks me the fuck out. I don't know why.
To tie into the above said and JPs point: How do we know they'd behave like mammoths would? We don't know how mammoths behaved and how the genes would express themselves in random ways that may be mammoth-like, maybe elephant-like and maybe be neither.
 

C_sector

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With the effects of climate change becoming more apparent..... It may not be the best time to start researching into resurecting these fascinating animals. There may not be enough viable (enough space and food) cold regions for these animals to flourish in the wild. Perhaps we should look at better ways to produce clean energy and hope that the Earth recovers its climate to a pre-industrial form before we bring in animals that probably wont even survive for long.

Also, another thought that i just had. Why bother with mammoths when polar bears are apparentlly dieing from drowning en masse due to thinner ice sheets (at times no ice) and nobody seems to give a dam. Lets just protect the animals that we currentlly have before gene-splicing new ones?? Humanity.... always wanting what it doesn't have and not wanting what it already has!!
 

NightHawk21

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008Zulu said:
I wonder what these cold resistant elephants would eat, in the frozen north, where there are no trees.
If you're looking for a serious answer I actually work on mammoths (and other extinct North American megafauna), and mammoths have teeth that made them well adapted to grind grasses. Mastodons on the other hand had pointer teeth that were made to crush shrubs and branches.
 

NightHawk21

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beastro said:
Skatologist said:
Imperioratorex Caprae said:
Oh lord... please save us from genetecists. I understand it, its awesome. I just have a paranoid fear that messing with genes is a minefield, and we're Dogmeat.
... Jurassic Park doesn't look so far away now does it?
And people keep missing the point of JP or haven't read the book.

The animals in JP weren't dinosaurs. They were creations of genetic tampering that were a cocktail of different animals to make them into the semblance of dinosaurs.

That's the entire point of "It's all an illusion" that was poorly translated into the movie. They weren't dinosaurs or the reptiles and amphibians whose DNA filled the gaps, they were something else, something new that was 100% synthetic, and as a result, were a giant unknown in how they'd behave.

That last point ties into the park itself claiming to have everything understood and under check when the whole basis of it were animals who were still finding the limits of their genetic code and finding they could act in unpredictable ways that brought on disaster.

The same stands here, you wouldn't be resurrecting mammoths, you'd just be creating new animals, freaks that are shallow imitations to please those who don't know enough or don't care that they're not the real deal.

Imperioratorex Caprae said:
Skatologist said:
Imperioratorex Caprae said:
Oh lord... please save us from genetecists. I understand it, its awesome. I just have a paranoid fear that messing with genes is a minefield, and we're Dogmeat.
... Jurassic Park doesn't look so far away now does it?
Maybe, but that doesn't worry me as much as the idea of reintroducing things that have been long dead. We've no frickin' clue how they will affect the ecosystem... And human scientists are notorious for having that issue as the absolute last thing they care about.
At least thats how it seems to me.
As cool as genetics is, it also kinda freaks me the fuck out. I don't know why.
To tie into the above said and JPs point: How do we know they'd behave like mammoths would? We don't know how mammoths behaved and how the genes would express themselves in random ways that may be mammoth-like, maybe elephant-like and maybe be neither.
Personally I take a different stance and I'm all for. There are a few issues you touch on that I'd like to address though.

You mention that like in Jurassic Park, these mammoths won't be mammoths but will be mammoth/elephant hybrids. This is technically true, but in reality there's a good chance it'll have no bearing. The reason we splice elephant and mammoth DNA together is because it's a pain in the ass to synthesize long strands (currently impossible on the scale we need), whereas due to their close similarity (~5-6mya divergence), you can just change the pieces you need. The exception to this would be the repetitive regions of the chromosome. These regions are currently impossible to assemble so they would need to be from the elephant. The upside though is that these regions are mainly (exclusively?) used for DNA structure and stability and shouldn't effect expression.

You also mention that we don't know what mammoths (or the hybrid) behaved like. While again technically true we can make a pretty good guess. Like I said before elephants and mammoths are pretty similar and can serve as models. Additionally, with the relatively large amount of remains we found, we've managed to make pretty good estimates as to their habitats and diet.

Lastly you mention that these are shallow imitations. This isn't really a fair point. Granted Church's current plan is to create a hairy, fat elephant, but this would be used as a spring board to incorporate more and more SNPs until we have almost everything. Does it matter if 99% of the DNA came from an elephant if that 99% is identical to what it was in the mammoth? In my opinion, no. DNA is just DNA, it doesn't care. As long as the functional changes are present it shouldn't matter. And if it looks like a mammoth and acts like a mammoth does that not make it a mammoth?