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How far is it to the mammoth?

Американский учёный реконструирует геном вымершего животного

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What happened?

A team of scientists led by Professor George Church of Harvard University said that in 2 years will be able to “mamelon” (mammophant) is a hybrid of a mammoth and an elephant. A great achievement of the team was that they were able in 2015 to increase the number of genes of a mammoth that is injected into the egg of an elephant from 15 to 45 writes The Guardian. This means that in the genome of the elephant adds more genes of a mammoth, which are responsible for certain characteristics of the extinct animal that will eventually lead to a full-fledged hybrid of the two, as scientists hope.

“Our goal is to create a hybrid embryo of a mammoth and an elephant. This can happen in a couple of years,” quoted George Church Independent.

From mammoth, the resulting animal will be a shaggy coat, small ears, thick layer of fat and blood, adapted to low temperatures – according to The Guardian.

At the conference, Professor Church said that this project has two goals: to provide an alternative future for the endangered Asian elephants and help in the fight against global warming. In his opinion, woolly mammoths could help prevent the thawing of the tundra due to the greenhouse effect, and thus play an important role in stabilizing ecosystems.

“in the Summer, they felled trees, contributing to the growth of grass,” – quoted by George Church The Guardian.

How is it possible to reconstruct the mammoth?

In 2012, the methodology was developed Crispr/Cas9, which allows you to more precisely edit the genome and splicing of the DNA molecule.

“We hope to do all the treatments outside a living body. It would be unwise to jeopardize an endangered species”, reports the words of the Church The Guardian.

Previously, researchers have proposed to implant a hybrid embryo into the uterus of an elephant, but refused for ethical reasons: the animal during the experiment could die. For example, according to the The Guardian, Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester believes that the proposed revival of a mammoth raises ethical global problem: the mammoth is not just a set of genes, is a social animal, the Asian elephant. What happens when you have this hybrid? As it will perceive the environment?

the Theme of the revival of the mammoths: history of the issue

In 2005 a group of scientists from Japan was going to impregnate a female elephant with the sperm of a mammoth preserved in the permafrost, and then to be crossing the resulting offspring. Experts suggest that such a process will lead to the appearance of an animal similar to the mammoth, only after 50 years. Even then, skeptics have treated the project with suspicion. They consider it virtually impossible to detect tissue where the DNA molecule is not destroyed or fragmentary – Lenta.Ru

In 2008 a group of Russian geneticists, led by Evgeny Rogaleva were able to decipher the DNA sequence of mitochondria from the wool of mammoth, which caused another surge of discussion on the topic. However, for cloning one mammoth mitochondrial DNA is not enough – said Expert.Ru

In 2011, Japanese scientist Akira Iritani said that around 2015, the light can emerge a real mammoth. This project was criticized by a Professor of the Institute of gene biology, Anatoly Altstein:

I have absolutely no idea how lain 25 thousand years in the permafrost, the cell may remain viable. After all, the kernel must be good that is called “alive,” quoted a scientist Moskovsky Komsomolets.

the Russian scientists do not believe in cloning a mammoth

Alexei Tikhonov, the Deputy Director of the Zoological Institute of the RAS, commented on the draft of the Church as follows:

“This is complete nonsense, of course, a scientific PR. It is strange that such a respected University like Harvard, is engaged in such things”, quotes Life.

According to Tikhonov, cloning is impossible, because it requires a living cell of the mammoth, which no one has.

Michael Gelfand is Professor, doctor of biological Sciences, believes that “editing” the elephant to mammoth will take a very long time:

“…the Cloned mammoth in this sense, never will be. You can do the reverse engineering. Take the elephant and slowly his edit back to mammoth. Now count the generation of the elephants, and the number of differences. It turns out that it would take several hundred thousand years,” writes Professor portal The Question.

Senior researcher of the laboratory of mammalian Paleontological Institute of RAS, doctor of biological Sciences Yevgeny Mashchenko has also included the cloning of the mammoth is impossible:

“At the present level of development of science and technology it is impossible to obtain cells for cloning from animals that died more than twenty years ago. I’m not saying that it is impossible in principle — it can’t be done right now,” – the words of Yevgeny Mashchenko Expert.ru



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