That’s just what scientists are telling us. They are talking about resurrecting an extinct species for as little as $10 million dollars. Using newer and improved technology scientist claim to be able to bring back any species that went extinct within the last 60,000 years, which includes Neanderthals.
Here’s how it would work. Scientists would modify the DNA of an elephant egg so that it would progressively resemble the DNA in a mammoth egg. The final stages of the egg could then be brought to term in an elephant mother, and mammoths might once again roam the Earth. This is all done by finding DNA differences with the genome of its nearest living relative, the elephant.
Stephan Schuster and Webb Miller of Pennsylvania State University reported that it has recovered a large fraction of mammoth genome from clumps of mammoth hair. They indicated that there were no technical obstacles to decoding the full mammoth genome, needed if they would ever want to recreate a mammoth, which could be achieved for as little as $2 million.
One of the most technical barriers is that ancient DNA is always shredded into tiny fragments that must be pieced back together again to be analyzed. Newer and improved DNA decoding machines can now be used to help decode the puzzle.
Dr. Schuster believes that museums could prove gold mines of ancient DNA because any animal remains containing keratin, from hooves to feathers, could hold enough DNA for the full genome to be recovered by the new sequencing machines. The full genome of the Neanderthal, an ancient human species probably driven to extinction by the first modern humans that entered Europe some 45,000 years ago, is expected to be recovered shortly. If the mammoth can be resurrected, the same would be technically possible for Neanderthals.
Illustration: By Flying Puffin (Mammut Uploaded by FunkMonk) via Wikimedia Commons