Did you think it was impossible for you to be killed by a woolly mammoth? Wrong!

Although, despite its elephant mother: it should be a true genetic mammoth, and not some sort of hybrid Altered Beast.
Although, despite its elephant mother: it should be a true genetic mammoth, and not some sort of hybrid Altered Beast.Courtesy Tracy O
Y'all were probably walking around thinking, "Hey! There's pretty much no way a woolly mammoth could kill me. Dip-de-doo!"

And y'all were probably snuggling into bed each night, cozy in the knowledge that if there was any way a mammoth could end your life, it would have to be from a 12,000-year-old tusk falling off an overloaded tusk-shelf, or something. And you went to sleep happy and safe.

Well, y'all are about to feel like a jerk. Sorry, but 3... 2... 1...

Scientists in Japan want to clone a woolly mammoth and there's a chance, however imperceptibly small, that that cloned mammoth could kill you!!! Like, maybe you're having a birthday party in Japan, and, attracted by the smell of cake, the mammoth breaks free from its enclosure and stomps your whole party. And it eats your cake!

You're thinking a) mammoths don't give a crap about cake; and b) they've talked about cloning mammoths for years, and it still hasn't happened, and I haven't been attacked by any Pleistocene megafauna.

Ok. A) How do you presume to know if a mammoth will want cake or not? Plus, it doesn't have to be cake. Maybe you're just jogging through Japan, and the mammoth sees your mousy ears and decides you need a stomping. The scenarios are practically limitless.

And B) this particular announcement may be something new in the field of wild speculation. While previous plans to do some mammoth cloning have been dismissed on account of all available mammoth DNA being damaged by a dozen millennia, a new technique may have bypassed that hurdle. Scientists at Kobe's Riken Center for Developmental Biology have cloned a mouse from cells that had been frozen for 16 years, and they think the same method could be applied to frozen mammoth remains. If enough viable DNA can be obtained, it would be implanted in the egg of an African elephant to create a mammoth embryo.

This won't happen overnight, however. There's still research to be done, and clone success rates in normal animals hover around 30%. And even if a mammoth embryo is successfully created, elephant gestation lasts about a year and a half. If all goes well, the scientists think it's possible to have a living, cloned mammoth within 6 years.

So enjoy the next six years. After that... it could be a bloodbath!

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Liza's picture
Liza says:

That's all good, but answer me this: Why does the mammoth talk like the Impressive Clergyman in "The Princess Bride"?

posted on Mon, 01/17/2011 - 4:02pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Clearly you weren't playing Sega Genesis in in 1990. You kids and your Xboxes.

I swear...

posted on Mon, 01/17/2011 - 4:44pm
The Hero's picture
The Hero says:

Hey! us kids and our xboxs are the only thing holding the economy together

You old people and your Sega Genesis'

I swear...

posted on Mon, 01/17/2011 - 9:48pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

And where do you get the money for all of your Xboxes and skateboards and rap music, huh? Allowances and shoplifting, and neither is something to brag about.

You and Liza should start a club. You can call it "Kidz Zone Max," and there will be no grownups allowed. Which, frankly, will be a relief to the rest of us.

posted on Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:50am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

First of all, I played Altered Beast, and I can't believe I didn't recognize that. Proof that I *am* old.

Second, I think Kidz Zone Max is a brilliant idea. You'll be sorry when you can't come in.

posted on Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:58am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Also, who tagged this post with "GOING BACK IN TIME"? There's no time travel involved here, except for the gradual, everyday journey forward in time.

This is graffiti and I will not stand for it! I know your parents!

posted on Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:54am

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