A Critical Analysis
In the article “Mammoths: Resurrecting Extinct Megafauna,” from the website ActionBioscience.org, author Larry Agenbroad (20005) discusses the moral, legal and practical problems connectedfwith cloning a mammoth fromthe DNA of a frozen mammothMammoths are extinct species and there is some evidence that human beings were responsible for their extinction. Agenboard considers four areas of this controversial topic in detail.
He starts off by establishing that it is feasible to clone a mammoth from unfrozen DNA. It has not been attempted yet, only because the samples have too small or damaged by the freezing process. Many scientists seem to think that there are so many buried mammoths in Russia that one day DNA of sufficient quality will be found.
Legally he decides there is nothing to prevent the cloning of a mammoth. There are moral objections which he counters with arguments of his own. Some argue that we are playing God to trying to recreate extinct animals; but Agenboard argues that humans were responsible for their extinction, so we are righting a wrong by cloning them. Some argue that cloning creates monsters; in fact, a cloned mammoth would just be like a hairy elephant. There are no places where these cloned mammoths could exist; but evidence suggests that they did exist in the tundra regions of Russia – which are virtually unchanged in climate and habitat. Some argue that it is not humane, but we are already cloning animals to kill and use their body parts to benefit human beings. Some people fear awful plagues spread by cloned DNA from the past: however, lost of other animals have been defrosted without any discernible effect on human health.
Finally Agenboard considers that the chances for successful cloning are very good and there will be benefits to animal research and genetic technology to save or preserve species currently under threat of extinction or recreate those recently made extinct. His final point is that we are making huge efforts to increase the numbers of previously hunted wild animals, so it would be a logical step to try to resurrect the mammoth.
Overall, it is clear that Agenboard supports the attempts to clone a mammoth.
Agenbroad, L. (2005, April). ‘Mammoths: Resurrecting extent megafauna.’ ActionBioscience.org.
Retrieved from http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotech/agenbraod.html
Levy, S., (2006). ‘Clashing with Titans.’ Bioscience 56(4): 292-298.