Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in ancient-DNA research, walks listeners through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored to sequencing their genomes to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary, cutting-edge science that is being used - today - to resurrect the past.
The Siberian discovery of the best-preserved woolly mammoth on record has teams of experts working around the globe, and around the clock, on some of the most ambitious projects in science. In Russia, paleontologists are conducting a historic autopsy on the 40,000-year-old beast to find out how it lived, and how it died. Meanwhile labs in South Korea and at Harvard University are using the latest advances in DNA manipulation in hopes of cloning the furry giant and introducing it to the modern world.
Serious and reputable scientists now believe that it is technically possibly to clone or "de-extinct" a whole range of animals, including the woolly mammoth - Jurassic Park style - within the next five to seven years. This involves major advances in the study of and the manipulation of ancient DNA, and in cloning. This program is “a beginner’s guide to de-extinction”; it’s about the science behind the mammoth de-extinction project - about the difficulties it faces, the enormous fragility of DNA, the challenges of discovering relatively undamaged mammoth DNA and about advances in cloning technology.