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Russian scientists to attempt clone of woolly mammoth

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by joseephuss, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Russian scientists to attempt clone of woolly mammoth

    Scientists from Russia and Japan are undertaking a Jurassic Park-style experiment in an effort to bring the woolly mammoth out of extinction.

    The scientists claim that a thigh bone found in August contains remarkably well-preserved marrow cells, which could form the starting point of the experiment.

    The team claim that the cloning could be complete within the next five years.

    But others have cast doubt on whether such a thing is possible.
    Mother cow?

    The team, from the Siberian mammoth museum and Japan's Kinki University, said that they planned to extract a nucleus from the animal's bone marrow and insert it into the egg of an African elephant.

    Similar procedures have been done before with mixed results.
  2. SaltwaterServr

    SaltwaterServr Blank Paper Offends Me

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    Ha! Nice news story, no real substance. Someone's burning a lot of embryology research dollars on a very long shot at a hybrid species. In all candor, they'd be better off taking the entire research grant and betting that the fifth horse in the fifth race on May the 5th in 2012 at the Aqueduct will come in fifth, fifty-five times in it's next 55 races.

    Even if they managed to pull it off, they still only have an elephant/mammoth hybrid of an undetermined percentage mixture of genes.

    Say they get it right in the first 5000 trials, and the animal is born. You'd then have to repeat the process, putting the extinct animal's deoxyribo back into another viable reproductive cell in the surrogate animal.

    Run another 5000 trials and hope you get it right.

    After that, you've potentially got a mostly mammoth hybrid.

    One itty bitty problem. You need 5000 x2 viable elephant eggs to put the initial and subsequent hybrid cells into.

    10,000 baby elephants won't be born just to get a single mostly mammoth hybrid.

    How you think that will fly with the conservation groups around the world? Of course some zoo is going to donate a female for the amount of publicity it would generate as well as the gate receipts from people wanting to see the "Modern Mother of the Next Woolly Mammoth".

    Let's not forget though that an elephant's gestation time is the longest of any animal on the face of the Earth, if the hybrid egg was carried full term. So you're blowing 22 months hoping to see if you can get a birth.

    Yeah, you can run more than one trial at a time at different zoos around the world if you had the cash money to run that many trials and field teams to monitor the surrogate 24/7.

    Is it worth attempting? Sure! Why not? Ain't my tax dollar.

    That said, anyone interested in it should take a gander at the Stanford Law Review's paper on Cloning the Woolly Mammoth. I imagine you have to be able to find it online somewhere, it was required reading when I took my first genetics class.
  3. SaltwaterServr

    SaltwaterServr Blank Paper Offends Me

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    Okay, I screwed up a bit in my first reply. Slight blame goes to Shiner Bock.

    In order to improve the hybrid's percentage genetic representation beyond the approximate 50/50 you'd start off with, you'd have to have a female hybrid adult to put the extinct DNA into. The way I had it the first time, you'd be diluting the mammoth hybrid's genes rather than concentrating them.

    That brings up another, even worse, set of time constraint issues along with the gender issue.

    You have to have a viable female hybrid to implant the extinct DNA into. in a perfect world, you can extract a somantic cell and rebuild it as a possible acceptor. This ain't a perfect world and you're most likely going to need an adult mammoth, i.e. a reproducing female. So after a decade and a half, I think, you'd have an adult female mammoth hybrid ready to produce eggs. You might, might, might be able to induce egg production earlier and you might e able to induce estrerous on a very rapid cycle to get as many eggs as possible.

    Of course once you get the eggs and one gets fertilized you implant it into a surrogate mother so you could keep producing more eggs should the first experimental trial fail.

    So figure at least 10 years between each successive hybrid generation. Even without considering dominant/recessive traits between the two species you're looking at what, 48 (10 years age+2 years gestation) years before you hit a 90%+ mammoth hybrid?

    How much will the technology evolve in just 10 years while your waiting for that first (if you ever get it) 50/50 mammoth hybrid to mature? Think how many millions were spent on the Human Genome Project just trying to decode the first human genetic code? Now you can do a person's complete DNA within 99% accuracy for under 100K. Heck, it might be under 10K at this point.

    Point being, great story guys, have fun with that. Let someone qualified 15 years from now have a real crack at it.

    Post-script; worth noting not all animals are equal when it comes to cloning. Mice=easy. Horses=PITA
  4. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Looking down on you Staff Member

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    Saltwater...quit being a hater.

    When I am wearing a fancy new pair of woolly mammoth underwear I am going to post a pic of them so I can rub it in your face.

    :p: ;)
  5. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    They've already cloned a Wooly Bully. :laugh2:

  6. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    What are you rubbing in his face? The pic or the underwear?
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Looking down on you Staff Member

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    The pic...he is not worthy of feeling my fine, fabulous, foxy, fancy, frivolous and frilly woolly mammoth underwear.
  8. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    ...I thought that last word was going to consist of three letters. :muttley:
  9. BadWolf

    BadWolf Member

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    Since they are inserting a bone marrow nucleus into the egg wouldn't it be all mammoth... unless mammoths kept their sperm in their thigh. But its the Russians, the nucleus will explode before it gets to the egg.
  10. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    I love Mad Science!

    Hang time on a clonish mammoth attempt is larger than I'd estimated though. Still, the chance to make your bones as the first group to bring back a representative of an extinct species is an easy sell on the science circuit, I am sure.

    Gotta be something well known or flashy. Some mousey thing is not going to cut it. Tasmanian Tiger? The Dodo? An Axebeak? Maybe a Sabretooth? Apparantly there were pony sized Elephants from Crete until relatively recently in human history.

    With the permafrost unfreezing in unprecedented amounts recently, they are getting some really good samples of 'quick frozen' mammoths to work with.

    I understand they taste like ... pachyderm.
  11. SaltwaterServr

    SaltwaterServr Blank Paper Offends Me

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    THere is so much wrong with that...:lmao2:

    No, not at all.

    50/50 the first generation.

    12 years

    75/25 Mammoth in the second generation.

    12 years

    87.5/12.5 Third Generation

    12 years

    93.75/6.25 Fourth Generation

    12 years

    97/3% Fifth Generation

    So 60 years until you get a better than 95% Mammoth offspring, provided that some parts of the elephant DNA aren't dominant and can be overwritten by the mammoth DNA.

    Put this in perspective. If you started the experiment the day that World War 2 ended, you'd be getting your 97% Mammoth born about the same time YouTube was invented.
  12. BadWolf

    BadWolf Member

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    I would assume they are going to do it using the same technique they used to make Dolly.

    From wikipedia: She was created using the technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer, where the cell nucleus from an adult cell is transferred into an unfertilised oocyte (developing egg cell) that has had its nucleus removed. The hybrid cell is then stimulated to divide by an electric shock, and when it develops into a blastocyst it is implanted in a surrogate mother.

    In which case its all mammoth.
  13. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    I'm not cleaning up after that thing.
  14. Ren

    Ren Well-Known Member

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    Meh, wake me when you make a dinosaur, mammoths are kinda boring just elephants with hair
  15. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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  16. speedkilz88

    speedkilz88 Well-Known Member

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    The real controversy starts when they learn to clone humans. Some oil sheik/prince is surely going to clone the most beautiful women on the planet for their harem. (past and present if they can get a hold of their dna)
  17. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Done. We all know the people really in charge of the world have already been cloning humans for years. We are on Lindsay Lohan #6 or so. She keeps dying due to the celebrity lifestyle and being replaced with another clone.
  18. casmith07

    casmith07 Attorney-at-Zone

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    Dude nobody will care as long as it *looks* like a wooly mammoth :D
  19. Everlastingxxx

    Everlastingxxx All Star

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    I want my copy of Megan Fox.
  20. SaltwaterServr

    SaltwaterServr Blank Paper Offends Me

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    I don't see that process working in this case. You can't necessarily pull the nucleus out of one animal and put it into another and have it work. Even if you leave the original nuclear membrane in place, the biochemical processes between the two species various nucleic acids are almost certainly not the same. The nucleus might be needing X protein in Y concentration for division, and the elephant's cell won't register the enzymes passing through the nuclear pores. Heck, the nuclear pores might not even be the same dang size to accept proteins passing through the nuclear envelope. Worst case scenario, the cell attacks the foreign body within itself and undergoes complete vacular lysis. They might be able to slow or prevent it to a degree, but man, that's the hardest way to grow a pear on a peach tree.

    Oh! If that's the case, I got this.

    Viola! You're new woolly mammoth!


    Gimme ten million NSF funded dollars please.

    I want a pair of them for reasons I can't begin to express here. Man oh man. Hmmph. Yeah.

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