When “Jurassic World” hits theaters next month, the fictional realm of bringing extinct species to life will once again be at the forefront of people’s minds. According to evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro, this idea is more fact than fiction. How to Clone a Mammoth–what Elizabeth Kolbert called “engaging, rigorous, and deeply thoughtful”–outlines the hard science behind the idea of de-extinction, analyzing whether mammoths, passenger pigeons, and other creatures can–and should be brought to life. She’ll propose that (rather than straight cloning) scientists should replicate basic traits of ancient DNA to create hybrid animals with ones that exist today. She’ll also shed light on one of the best uses for any newly-formed creatures–innovative ways to restore and conserve the Earth’s changing ecosystem. If Shapiro’s theories become a reality, the Burke Museum’s mammoth tusk might have some surprising uses in the future!
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Presented by: Town Hall, Elliott Bay Book Company, and the Pacific Science Center through The Seattle Science Lectures.
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