The Biopunk Reader


A Mammoth Proposal

About a month ago, my friend Bender sent me a very interesting article: "Mammoth 'could be reborn in four years'."

Four years. Wow.

Of course, we've heard about this kind of thing in fiction before--prehistoric cloning a la Jurassic Park. But that was dinosaurs, and it's not every day that scientists discover dinosaur soft tissue, the fleshy stuff that can contain DNA. These are mammoths we're talking about, whose bodies are found frozen--hair and skin still attached. We're talking about the real possibility of resurrecting our first living, breathing dead-for-thousands-of-years species.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. I'm enjoying Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, and a single sentence stands out to me:

Alek recalled seeing photos of a mammothine--a huge, shaggy sort of Siberian elephant, the first extinct creature the Darwininsts had brought back.

I thought, Sounds like Mr. Westerfeld might be right on target. A hundred years early, but right on target.



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