A team of researchers claim that they can create a mammoth from ancient DNA for $10 million and sell them to zoos around the world. The price seems high, but it’s around the same amount that museums have recently paid for dinosaur fossils.
They were able to get the DNA from hair taken from deep-frozen woolly mammoth carcasses. Though some parts of the DNA are missing, they have about 80% of it.
Hair is one of the best body parts to extract DNA from, since bone often contains fungi and bacteria. In BBC News, Paul Rincon quotes researcher Jeremy Austin as saying, “It’s a bit like trying to build a car with only 80% of the parts and knowing that some of the parts are already broken.”
Meanwhile, there’s new evidence that dinosaurs got around more than we realized: footprints from the same species of dinosaur have been found in Scotland AND in Wyoming. BBC News quotes paleontologist Neil Clark as saying that some of the tracks at the two sites are “indistinguishable” from each other. However, this makes sense: the UK and the US were part of the same land mass hundreds of millions of years ago. Potential “Jurassic Parks” pose a bit of an ethical problem: what if we could recreate a Neanderthal or a hobbit? Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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