Resurrecting extinct animals can’t produce genetically viable populations

Like big kids everywhere, I would love to see it happen. The idea of resurrecting woolly mammoths fires the imagination on all cylinders. Last week interest in this marvellous notion was reignited by Professor Ian Wilmut, the man who cloned Dolly the sheep, ruminated about how it might be done. The answer, in brief, is that it pushes at the very limits of plausibility, but there’s a tiny chance that, within 50 years or so, it could just happen.

Even if this minute chance is realised, please don’t mistake de-extinction (as the resurrection business is now widely known) for reviving lost faunas and the habitats they used. At best it will produce a public cabinet of curiosities, at worst new pets for billionaires.

Read the full, original story here: Resurrecting woolly mammoths is exciting – but it’s a fantasy

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