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Jurrassic World
November 20, 2008 7:56 PM   Subscribe

We get you real woolly mammoth, very cheap, good quality.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (44 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Let me be the first to say: I can't wait to eat that monkey mammoth!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:00 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I say we take up a collection. I, for one, would be willing to pay $20 to resurrect a mammoth, and I'm guessing that there are 499,999 people out there who feel the same way. Who's with me?
posted by bicyclefish at 8:03 PM on November 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


Woolly Mammoth Washing Instructions

DO NOT WASH IN HOT WATER
posted by netbros at 8:04 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Cool
posted by lee at 8:04 PM on November 20, 2008


OK, clone an elephant (or mammoth) I can buy, eventually. But reconstitute the species? I'm kinda thinking n=1 doesn't cut it in the genetic diversity department.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:10 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've got $40 for two shares of mammoth. Can I get enough fur to make a sweater?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:21 PM on November 20, 2008


I WANT A KITTY.
posted by homunculus at 8:25 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm gonna need a bigger grill.
posted by empyrean at 8:26 PM on November 20, 2008


I, for one, welcome our new woolly mammoth riding Neanderthal overlords.
posted by anansi at 8:28 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just think: Some Penn State grad student will soon be shoveling woolly mammoth shit.
posted by longsleeves at 8:30 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


For the more budget-conscious woolly mammoth consumer, I recommend the reduced version.
posted by phooky at 8:32 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


[...] the stuffed animals in natural history museums are not likely to burst into life again [...]

Really hedging their bets there.
posted by obvious at 8:35 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


While I completely approve of any mammoth-making efforts, I am very, very disturbed by the idea of regenerating neanderthals.

We do not need that kind of competition, people.
posted by Ms. Saint at 8:56 PM on November 20, 2008


Christ, what a poorly written article. It sounds more like a grant pitch, or negotiations with a building contractor than science writing: "We can do this for $10 million, and this for another $2 million, and hey, $500,000 will get you this." Absolutely no specifics given on any of these cost estimates.
posted by stargell at 9:04 PM on November 20, 2008


I can't decide which is more unsettling: a semi-serious suggestion of cloning a Neanderthal, or the thought that a Neanderthal-chimp hybrid would be less ethically murky than a Neanderthal-human hybrid.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:13 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


“The big issue would be whether enough people felt that a chimp-Neanderthal hybrid would be acceptable, and that would be broadly discussed before anyone started to work on it,” Dr. Church said.

God, schmod. I want my monkey-man!
posted by longsleeves at 9:20 PM on November 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


There has been a serious (but futile) proposal for the extensive Pleistocene Re-Wilding of America. (wiki)
posted by Rumple at 9:38 PM on November 20, 2008


I was under the impression that, whilst scientists had 80% of the genomic content sequenced, they have no idea how to separate the DNA into chromosomes, or even how many chromosomes a mammoth has.

That's a big problem. Even if you knew the chromosomal content, no one has ever produced an artificial chromosome before. Then.. even if you could do that.. there's the problem of a mammoth egg - which will contain a whole host of epigenetic information not contained in the sequencable DNA.

So, this just is not going to happen.
posted by mr dodo at 9:44 PM on November 20, 2008


So, this just is not going to happen.

Those words will be found on charred notes when investigators comb through the rubble after the cloned mammoths escape to trash the lab and trample the scientists.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:52 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, this just is not going to happen.
posted by mr dodo

You'd like to think that, I bet.
posted by Rumple at 10:12 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


$20? I'm in for a share in the mammoth.

Also, can I have a pony?
posted by salishsea at 10:18 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Secret mystery process? check!
Lack of peer review? check!
Vague outcomes? check!
Substantial funds requested? check!
Morally ambiguous? check!
Untested? check!

Sounds perfect!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:32 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some Penn State grad student will soon be shoveling woolly mammoth shit.

And loving it. Science is very exciting.
posted by niccolo at 10:39 PM on November 20, 2008


While I completely approve of any mammoth-making efforts, I am very, very disturbed by the idea of regenerating neanderthals.

Somewhere, there's a Republican think tank working on this. Votes are votes, people!
posted by rokusan at 10:42 PM on November 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


Right now all i can hear is Oscar Goldman's voice saying:

"Woolly Mammoth. Mammal. A species far from alive. We can reconstitute it gentlemen. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the worlds first cloned mammoth!"

posted by happyroach at 11:08 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mammoth Schmammoth. I will not be satisfied until I have Megatheria roaming through my backyard, Glyptodonts wrecking cars on the highway and Titanis terror birds feasting on the weak and the hapless.
posted by MasonDixon at 12:16 AM on November 21, 2008


I can't decide which is more unsettling: a semi-serious suggestion of cloning a Neanderthal, or the thought that a Neanderthal-chimp hybrid would be less ethically murky than a Neanderthal-human hybrid.

This, exactly. So if it is a chimp hybrid there is nothing wrong with enslaving them - because they are just animals, right? *shudder*
posted by Meatbomb at 3:31 AM on November 21, 2008


We've been discussing this article in my research group this week. What is the point of making a wooly mammoth? And by extension, what is the point of this article? I read it twice looking for some sound reasoning on why scientists would want to make a Neanderthal-chimp hybrid, heck, I would settle for some unsound reasoning. There's pretty much nothing there other than, "it would be cool."

I work in a math dept, so I'm familiar with this reasoning for doing research. But I would argue that mathematicians aren't making living, breathing anachronisms that they would then have to take care of. Some math is justified as being art. Is the Neanderthal-chimp the next Sistine Chapel?
posted by bluefly at 3:53 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


What is the point of making a wooly mammoth?

Because we can. Because it's it a good way to test doing this (and so cheap!) that apply to other things. Because whoever gets to reanimate an extinct species gets to be the most powerful.

I'm not saying these are good reasons, but I'm betting that's the unspoken reason.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:00 AM on November 21, 2008


“The big issue would be whether enough people felt that a chimp-Neanderthal hybrid would be acceptable, and that would be broadly discussed before anyone started to work on it,” Dr. Church said.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:52 AM on November 21, 2008


What is the point of making a wooly mammoth?

Long before winter had a name, the earth belonged to winter... but winter belonged to the mammoth. The earthbound thunder. The horn-bearer. The mountain that moved, the old ghost of the snow-blind steppe. See two dozen men draw up their long spears reluctantly, like short straws. Those few who are not trampled outright will never die - for they will breakfast on their god.

...Because NOW at Applebees, it's MAMMOTH MONDAYS. Gather your clan and sink your teeth through the strata of time. Each mammoth flank arrives cave-charred and marinated in a period herbivore slop divined by racial memory; but beware, for your prey may just flank you with a heap of Cro-Magnon jalapeno ranch poppers! Are you brave enough to take on the mammoth and fill that yawning, cave-like void in your cubicle heart? APPLEBEES. Gatherers NOT welcome.
posted by kid ichorous at 5:52 AM on November 21, 2008 [19 favorites]


Mammoth time line future:

Nov 2008: Mefi's everywhere all pitch in 20 bucks of a mammoth.
July 2009: Mefi's receive their mammoth. Not knowing how to take care of it we quickly flush it down the toilet and move on to the next "Cool post".
Nov 2009: Dr. Ronald Scratchnsniff genetically modifies the mammoth with a thumb.
Jan 2010: This is when the real hell began..... Giant hairy elephants emerge from the sewers. They march into cybercafes. public libraries, and anywhere with a internet connection. Everyone at the time thought it was cute. "Oh look at the hair elephant's blogging away on Metafilter!" We didn't think anything of it at the time.... what fools we were.
Oct 2010: Dear God these mammoths are taking over! They breed like rabbits. And where in the hell are they getting five bucks from? I for one am sick and tired about reading about mammoth related posts! Where the hell is Cortex when you need him?
Nov 2010: (sniff sniff) :>( They found Cortex.... he was trampled to death.... we all know who did it but no one wants to speak up. Those who did were quickly banned for life by the new mammoth mods.
Jan 2011: It didn't take them long to fully take over the site. Now in order to get your post in the blue you have to include something about mammoths or it gets instantly deleted. Dear God what I wouldn't give for a post about Palin right now. Never thought I'd hear myself say that... ever?!?
March 2011: They finally admitted it! Those stupid hairy elephants! This was all for revenge. They came out and said that it was very hurtful how everyone on this site was all for buying a cloned mammoth and then we quickly flushed them down the drain when astro zombie posted something newer and more exciting. What fools we were to play God!!! Me/ shakes fist in the air
August 2011: Metafilter is no more. They changed the name to mammothfilter. Now you have to be a mammoth to post or comment here. Life has changed for all of us now. Now I actually have to put in 8 hours of solid work today... How in the hell am I suppose to do that?!?!?!?! Stupid posts about stupid hairy elephants......

This could happen..... but it doesn't have to:

Save Metafilter and Vote McC...... ummm don't pitch in 20 bucks for a mammoth.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:15 AM on November 21, 2008


You've got a secret now, honey,
And though you'd never sink as low as him,
You could blab it all over the school if you wanted:
The label in that mammoth
Said "100% Acrylic"
posted by Sys Rq at 6:15 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately it's behind the Nature paywall, but here is a much better article about the technical challenges of reviving the mammoth, including more than you ever want to know about the artificial insemination of elephants. And here's the mammoth sequencing paper - they estimate they have about 70% of the genome covered, and it's all available online.
posted by penguinliz at 6:49 AM on November 21, 2008


Neanderthal-chimp? Pah. Wake up people! If we're doing real mad science here, I want to see neanderthal-mammoth!
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:48 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


There was a great book about five years ago called The Fate of the Mammoth which talks about the issues of cloning mammoths.

The big problem is the long time it takes for elephants (and therefore cloned mammoths) to reach sexual maturity (~10 years), then mate with another cloned mammoth, and then wait to see if their offspring are fertile or suffering from a mutation of some sort, which could then require the process to start over again.

You're looking at about a quarter century long test trial.
posted by Paid In Full at 8:06 AM on November 21, 2008


I work in a math dept, so I'm familiar with this reasoning for doing research. But I would argue that mathematicians aren't making living, breathing anachronisms that they would then have to take care of. Some math is justified as being art. Is the Neanderthal-chimp the next Sistine Chapel?

Assume a perfectly spherical mammoth ...
posted by zippy at 8:12 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Mammoth time line future:

MC, this begs to be used as a song title.

posted by kid ichorous at 8:35 AM on November 21, 2008


I think that we're all losing sight of the really important issue here, which is: how will this help me get superpowers? (And, no, ten-foot-long curving tusks do not count as a superpower, nor does a prehensile trunk; I've already tried that. On the other hand, having the body of an ape would be acceptable, as long as I also had the strength and agility of an ape.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:44 AM on November 21, 2008


MeMammoth
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 AM on November 21, 2008


I would love to see a real mammoth. The thought makes my inner ten year old quiver.

And while we're at it, I would like a Giant Moa, please.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:44 AM on November 21, 2008


I am here on behalf of the dodo.

And on behalf of the dodo, we are pleased.
posted by humannaire at 8:53 PM on November 21, 2008


We already have mamoths (for certain values of Elephant)
posted by blue_beetle at 9:41 PM on November 21, 2008


And while we're at it, I would like a Giant Moa, please.


Only if we can breed giant Haast Eagles and have them go head-to-head with the moa. I want a live re-enactment of the Te Papa display.
posted by Infinite Jest at 10:01 AM on November 22, 2008


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