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Extinct species may get a second chance

‘How to Clone a Mammoth’ explains how scientists might one day revive long-gone animals

10:00am, May 31, 2015
Mammoth calf mummy

LIFE FROM DEATH  Even well-preserved mammoth remains, such as this calf mummy found in 2007, won’t yield enough DNA to make a clone. But there are other ways to bring mammoths back, according to evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro.

How to Clone a Mammoth
Beth Shapiro
Princeton Univ., $24.95

First, the bad news: Scientists are probably never going to resurrect authentic mammoths from bones or mummified remains. Genetic material just doesn’t survive intact for thousands of years in the Siberian permafrost. The bits and pieces of DNA that do linger in fossils aren’t enough to create a clone.

That makes the title of How to Clone a Mammoth somewhat misleading. But evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro keeps hope alive for making

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