Biology - Other

Repercussions of Cloning a Woolly Mammoth

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"Repercussions of Cloning a Woolly Mammoth"
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There are always moral, ethical, and scientific implications related to the science of cloning, but to clone an extinct creature such as the woolly mammoth that lived during pre-historic times might have even greater implications due to taking the DNA and blood samples from an animal that is no longer living.

The cloning machine

Although scientists are continually delving into the possibility of cloning for medical and scientific purposes and discovering new cloning theories as scientists have recently done in China with a theory of building a cloning machine that can clone more than one clone at a time, scientists may not be close to cloning an animal that is not alive.

Isolating blood samples

Scientists have unearthed woolly mammoths and have attempted to isolate their DNA and blood samples, but still they can only invent in the lab a hemoglobin protein "by using fragmented DNA sequences from three mammoths that died in Siberia between 25,000 and 43,000 years ago."

Most mammoths became extinct some 10,000 years ago except for the woolly mammoths in Africa and Siberia.

Is it possible?

However, is there any possibility of cloning an already deceased animal if the blood cannot even be reproduced except artificially in the laboratory? However, given that scientists are working at solving various mysteries of how humans and animals evolved, some point in time scientists may find a way to reproduce all the functions of an extinct species such as the woolly mammoth and attempt to clone them.

Asian scientists report on cloning a woolly mammoth

Asian scientists have reported that they are working at cloning a woolly mammoth, by using the nuclei of an elephant egg and the DNA of the mammoth using mammoth cells from well-preserved tissue and undamaged genes from skin, bones, blood, or other internal organs. The question is "Will it be possible to do this, since woolly mammoth blood itself has to be manufactured artificially?

Since the elephant egg is not a woolly mammoth, the creature cloned would not be a true wooly mammoth, but just a creature made alive by scientists to experiment with.

Bringing back an extinct creature

Bringing back an extinct creature, would at best be a frightening experience for the animal. It would have no mother or family; and no way to understand the complex process of survival even in captivity. Who would raise the weakened mammoth, since it would most likely be a weakened creature without the strength of the original creature that lived so many years ago? Perhaps the elephant since the mammoth is distantly related, could be the surrogate, but would the elephant be willing to do this? There are so many questions that scientists would have to work on to even get close to cloning the extinct woolly mammoth. And the woolly mammoth apparently mated with other species, which if introduced into the wild could have implications for the survival of the true species that normally exist in the natural world of the 21st century.

Interesting news story or science fiction?

At best, the cloning of a wooly mammoth makes for an interesting news story, and at worst, it just might be science fiction rather than science. What remains to be said is that can there be the cloning of any extinct creature, and for what reason would scientists want to clone a creature who would be left in a world entirely out of its usual habitat?

Ethical, moral, and scientific conclusion

So that would be the ethical implication for cloning a woolly mammoth. Ethically it would be wrong to clone a woolly mammoth because the animal would not have its usual environment to live in and would be left to the experimentation of scientists, which would be a cruel and inhumane life for the woolly mammoth. Morally it would be wrong to clone the woolly mammoth because it isn't even evolutionary and not related to natural selection. Scientifically it is wrong because it might not even be real science unless scientists are using a hypothesis and null hypothesis. And if they did create this creature which would probably not be a true woolly mammoth they would be creating a living creature for experimentation, which would be inhumane.

More about this author: Colette Georgii

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