Friday, November 21, 2008

We Know What's in Mammoth DNA Now!

This is a very cool article from National Geographic about the decoding of the Mammoth genome. This means we can compare their DNA to that of the three species of elephant alive today - Asian, African and forest elephants (also African, but a smaller species). It will be fascinating to see what's been lost and what's been retained. And theoretically you can clone extinct species with their DNA - though you would not be able to get a viable population again from just a few samples. But, it does give us clues.

The genetics section of my biology course has been very interesting and I've been impressed and surprised with all the genetic research and discoveries made in the last 20 years. I know that during my lifetime more and more will happen. Already we are learning how to use animal DNA in criminal cases to help determine what happened (and there is an interesting show ion Animal Planet about that called Animal Witness). It'll be very interesting to see what happens next.

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