Monday, May 3, 2010

Scientists Recreate Woolly Mammoth Blood

Scientists have recreated Woolly Mammoth blood. It's only a matter of time until we hear on the news about Woolly Mammoth cloning....
The team's method for re-creating the blood was a breakthrough in itself. Researchers used DNA that had been extracted from Siberian mammoth specimens, between 25,000 and 43,000 years old. (Mammoth DNA has already been sequenced.)
They converted the blood DNA sequences into RNA, and inserted them into E. coli bacteria. The bacteria acted as RNA factories, manufacturing authentic mammoth protein.
In any mammal, the blood's ability to carry oxygen is affected by temperatures -- hemoglobin is less effective at offloading oxygen into cells when it's cold. But the mammoths evolved special protein-sequence changes that allowed their blood to deliver oxygen to cells at very low temperatures, the researchers said. That would allow the mammoth's extremities to get very cold, saving energy. The changes were an evolutionary adaptation that allowed the mammoths, which originated in Africa, to survive in the Arctic.
Pretty amazing and frightening at the same time... I'm sure humanity will learn a lot from this research, but we must also way the consequences as well. What are your thoughts...?

via popsci

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