Every outbreak across the globe today stems from a descendant of the medieval plague.
If we brought the mammoth back to Siberia, maybe that would be good for the ecosystems that are changing because of climate change.
We know African and Asian elephants can interbreed, and they're separated by 5 million to 6 million years.
I laughed when Steven Spielberg said that cloning extinct animals was inevitable. But I'm not laughing anymore, at least about mammoths. This is going to happen. It's just a matter of working out the details.
There is no good scientific reason to bring back an extinct species. Why would one bring them back? To put them in a theme park?
Teeth actually turn out to be one of a couple of good sources of ancient DNA. The teeth, actually the enamel, is quite good at preserving the DNA, so it is a bit of time capsule so to speak.
You can go into caves, and they can maintain constant conditions of temperature and humidity over long periods of time, even though the outside temperature may be way above what it is inside the cave.
It turns out that there are swaths of habitat in the north of Siberia and Yukon that actually could house a mammoth. Remember, this was a highly plastic animal that lived over tremendous climate variation.
When I was a young boy, I used to gaze through the microscope of my father at the insects in amber that he kept in the house. And they were remarkably well preserved, morphologically just phenomenal.
Nuclear DNA encodes all the proteins and enzymes that make you you, basically.
I'm not sure the Russians would be happy that their iconic wooly mammoth has North American origins.
The study of evolution is an evolution in itself.
There's no environment I can think of that would have remained constant enough to preserve dinosaur DNA.
Typically, there's a drive in science to do something just to say you've done it.
Scientists have always thought that because mammoths roamed such a huge territory - from Western Europe to Central North America - that North American woolly mammoths were a sideshow of no particular significance to the evolution of the species.
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