The Ethical Concerns Of Bringing Back The Woolly Mammoth

The Ethical Concerns Of Bringing Back The Woolly Mammoth

​We have the resources to bring the species back to life, but should we?
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The idea of bringing back the woolly mammoth is nothing new to the world of genetics. And now, in 2015, paleogeneticists have recovered enough woolly mammoth cells out of the frozen lands of Siberia to recreate the pre-historic beast.

The woolly mammoth is nearly identical to the Asian elephant in regards to genetic code. And because of this, scientists theorized that they could use the Asian elephant to bring back its extinct cousin. As they continued to gather fragments of mammoth DNA, paleogeneticists slowly puzzled together the genome of the species, showing them the genetic similarities and differences between the mammoth and the elephant.

Researchers knew that if the unique genetic information encoded within the Asian elephant cell could be replaced with the unique genetic information of the woolly mammoth, the newly modified asian elephant cell would hold the exact sequence of a woolly mammoth. The theory then became a reality in March of 2015 when Harvard professor of genetics George Church successfully spliced the unique fragments of woolly mammoth DNA into the modified DNA of an Asian elephant.

When this woolly mammoth cell was created, scientists knew they were no longer experimenting with DNA in laboratory. They were playing God.

To put the procedure into practice, scientists would have to scrupulously complete a particular set of steps. First, they would have to inject the unique DNA of the mammoth cells into the modified DNA of an Asian elephant embryo. Next, they would have to both monitor and nurse the mother elephant through her life-threatening pregnancy, making sure all life-permitting conditions remain constant. If she survives to the stage of conception, the experiment would result in a woolly mammoth offspring containing all the distinct qualities that it did 10,000 years ago, including extra hair, extra fat, unique tusks, and bigger ears. But this would only be the beginning of the struggle. A suitable, artificial climate would need to be created immediately, with medical improvisation being the only method of remedy in the case of an emergency.

The possibility of mammoths roaming the earth once again fascinated researchers--not to mention the rest of the world. But after digesting the excitement and restraining the impulse to act suddenly, ethics were brought into question.

The ethical problem with reviving the mammoth is that it's an inauspicious endeavor. And if the experiment fails, it will result in severe consequences, specifically the slow deaths impregnated Asian elephants.

“It seems to me that trying this out might lead to suffering for female elephants, and that would not be ethically justifiable” Paleogeneticist Love Dalen, associate professor at Swedish Museum of Natural History and co-author of the study told the BBC.

In regards to the offspring, scientists are skeptical whether it will survive, as well. When the Pyrenean ibex goat was brought back to life in 2003 using the same genetic splicing process, it died seven minutes after birth. And until attempted, the survivability of the woolly mammoth offspring cannot be predicted.

Prioritizing between the living species and the dead was also brought into the ethical discussion, arguably the paramount reason behind science's reluctance to recreate the animal.

"We face the potential extinction of African and Asian elephants. Why bring back another elephantid from extinction when we cannot even keep the ones that are not extinct around?” Professor Alex Greenwood, an ancient DNA expert, told The Telegraph. "What is the message? We can be as irresponsible with the environment as we want. Then we'll just clone things back?”

The ethical concern has gone unresolved and continues to be discussed in laboratories across the world. Where would the species live in this increasingly hot climate? Would the purpose merely be for our own selfish entertainment? Playing God is a game of ethics, and to many scientists, just because the woolly mammoth could be brought back to life doesn't mean it should be.

Cover Image Credit: Flying Puffin Creative Commons

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100 Of The Best Vines Of All Time

Hi, welcome to Chili's!
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Not to be dramatic, but the Vine app was the best thing to ever happen to me.

The Vine app truly understood me and my extremely odd sense of humor. When it was shut down, I felt like a part of me shut down with it. Luckily, I still have the ability to reflect on the good times that I had with Vine. Although there aren't any new Vine videos keeping my spirit alive, the Vine videos from the past are enough to keep me going.

This is way overdue, but here are the 100 best Vines to ever exist (in no particular order).

1. You better stop.

2. Come get y'all juice.

3. WTF is up Kyle.

4. That is NOT correct.

5. Mr. Postman.

6. Good evening.

7. This is your space, this is your area.

8. Honestly not sure what to title this one, but it's great so.

9. Someone help Elmo.

10. Pst...what?

11. Can I get a waffle?

12. Welcome back to Jesus Christ Hotline.

13. Oooooh, my boy going to school.

14. Lebron James.

15. #1 Dad.

16. Two bros chillin' in the hot tub.

17. Iz the fourth of July.

18. You have to say that you're fine and you're not really fine.

19. Tweaka Tweaka.

20. Hi, welcome to Chili's.

21. What up, I'm Jared.

22. If you wanna be a dog, RUFF.

23. When you think you look fresh, but your fish disagrees.

24. Rat in Walmart.

25. I'm dying... without me?

26. White ppl will turn anything into a casserole.

27. So you just gonna bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift.

28. You want a french fry? Eat a french fry.

29. ifyoulikemakingloveatmidnight.

30. Ms. Keisha.

31. Girl you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.

32. My cinnamon apple.

33. Two shots of vodka.

34. Whoever threw that paper.

35. Wow.

36. Do the math.

37. Rip your face off.

38. Fed up teacher.

39. You can't kill me.

40. Look at me now snake.

41. Walking a duck.

42. No matter when you pause this one, it's hilarious.

43. I don't even understand this one.

44. I dropped my hot pocket.

45. I thought you were American.

46. I can't swim.

47. I wanna be a cowboy.

48. I look like Mona Lisa.

49. Look at this graph.

50. Yungman.

51. Squidward dabbing

52. Living with Nicholas Cage.

53. If Tinder had video profiles.

54. Why you always lying.

55. Chicken wing ch-chi-chicken wing.

56. Uh my chicle.

57. Love the Nickleback version.

58. Any excuse to nae nae.

59. I want to be famous.

60. That's my opinion.

61. There she goes.

62. I have to restart my potatoes.

63. And they don't stop coming.

64. Cat horn.

65. Who is she.

66. The bob.

67. Summertime.

68. Do I look like.

69. Nice Ron.

70. Mom hearing 'Only' by Nicki Minaj for the first time.

71. Happy fourth of July.

72. I'm washing me and my clothes.

73. Nickel the creatorback.

74. Give me your money.

75. U stoopid.

76. Shrek at school.

77. Patricia honey can you be quiet.

78. No baby.

79. You've got a big storm coming.

80. Out shopping with my coven.

81. Extreme makeover home edition.

82. They were roommates.

83. White girl trying to remember the day she was born.

84. xoxo, gossip girl.

85. Big time rush.

86. Scared grandma throwing milk.

87. Suicide fairy.

88. Zoey 101 microwave.

89. When you leave your makeup on after a night out.

90. Crazy skateboarding tricks.

91. Noodle head.

92. Under all that makeup.

93. Marriage goals.

94. Boy putting on lipstick.

95. When you walk past your friend's class.

96. Clear elevator jamming.

97. #RunningManChallenge

98. T-T-T-T-Target.

99. We all have a lot of laughs.

100. High school musical.

Honestly, I still can think of 100 more of the greatest vines of all time... but I guess I should stop now.

Cover Image Credit: NY Mag

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12 Not-So-Boujee Must Haves For Your First Home/Apartment, If You Want To Actually Survive

Broom > Swiffer. Trust me.

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Whether a college student or just moving into your first home or apartment, here is a list of things you probably didn't know you needed.

1. Shower Curtain Rod. 

In my furnished apartment, I was thinking the past tenant would have left this item. WRONG. Walmart is going to be your best bet for getting this, I went to at least three other stores first, and none of them had it so save yourself time and just go to Walmart.

2. Organizers. 

I was lucky enough to already have one. However, drawer organizers are so important. Not only do they save space for me in my apartment and on my desk, but it acts as my nightstand. Living on the fourth floor of my apartment, the last thing I wanted to do was haul a wooden nightstand up to my room. So get an organizer that has wheels, they usually have colored drawers so they can follow whatever color scheme you have going on.

3. Wall Decorations. 

I'm usually not one worried about decorating, but the walls will feel empty without even a cheap poster from Walmart or family photos. Something about decorating just really makes it feel more like home, than if you had just an empty room.

4. Oil Diffuser.

This was new to me. However, not only does my oil diffuser give a little extra light when it's on, but my room always smells amazing now, even if the rest of the house smells like food. Scentsy pots work too, but with the oil diffusers there's less mess and you can use oils similar to DoTerra for health and mood benefits.

5. Tinfoil. 

We all eat food. And let's be honest, college students are lazy and life is so much easier when you can just throw tinfoil on top of your dish and toss it in the fridge. Especially when you're in a hurry. Yes, that's also what Tupperware is for but you also can use it for cooking in the oven.

6. Rugs. 

Most kitchens are hardwood or tile of some sort, having a rug in front of the entrance and in front of the sink are essential to creating less mess to clean. We have a lot of guests in our apartment and since we don't have carpet anywhere but our rooms, it is tough to ask for shoes off so having a rug at the front door can cut down the amount of dirt tracked in.

7. Lamps. 

Lighting can be limited in rooms so it's nice to bring some sort of extra lighting. Either a stand up lamp or just a desk lamp can make a huge difference in the lighting of your room.

8. Dry Shampoo. 

This is less of a need for your home and more of a need for you. I have recently jumped on the dry shampoo trend and it's a life-saver. If you have a long night of studying or wake up late and don't have time to wash your hair, it's a great fix and easy way to keep from looking like you are losing your mind.

9. Extension Cords. 

If you didn't figure this out in a dorm, you are now. Outlets can be in inconvenient places, and as a college student, you have to have space to plug in a laptop, printer, phone, lamps, and anything else that you need to plug in. Extension cords and power strips will solve that problem.

10. Broom. 

Yes, a broom. Not a swiffer. Sadly, if you have more dirt than dust, a swiffer will do you no good. You can get a cheap broom at just about any store that carries any cleaning supplies.

11. Paper Towel Holder. 

I mean you could go without but it does make things more convenient. Also looks nicer than just having a roll of paper towels sitting on the counter.

12. Cooking Oil. 

Super easy to forget, but used more often than you think. Cooking oil is used for so many things, and if you have a kitchen, make sure you have it. Nothing is worse than having a meal planned and finding out you don't have cooking oil.

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