A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.

By Nina Pajak

Remember that time a wealthy and eccentric scientist got his hands on a prehistoric mosquito mummified in amber, and he extracted little bits of dinosaur blood which the mosquito had sucked before getting petrified and used the <DINO DNA!> to clone an entire ecosystem’s worth of dinosaurs?

This happened way back in the ’90s. They were going to turn it into a theme park on a remote island, but a bunch of people got eaten during beta testing and they wound up abandoning the dinosaurs on said island never to be heard from again. That is, until the beasts managed to make their way to San Diego where they ate some more people, and then they wound up back on the island again. And then something else even happened after that, except no one saw Jurassic Park 3.

It was a series of terrible tragedies and lessons in the unpredictability and power of nature and the dangers of humans developing a God complex, but the silver lining is that now everyone knows how bleeping terrifying Velociraptors really are.

Anyway, one little troublemaker does not appear to have learned the hard truths to which so many have already lost their lives.

He wants to clone a woolly mammoth.

Yes, deep within the frozen tundra of the remote Russian Arctic, scientists have discovered a remarkably well-preserved woolly mammoth. So well-preserved, in fact, that there is speculation that a person, if one were so inclined, could theoretically extract living cells from the corpse and BINGO! Mammoth DNA!

South Korean scientist and convicted fraud Hwang Woo-Suk has promised to successfully clone a mammoth before the hour strikes twelve on the last day of the year 2019, and that we shall all rue the day we ever doubted him and his Pleistocene menagerie! Bwahahahaha.

Actually, it seems as though the Japanese government has already had the same thought, and the Russian government thinks Hwang isn’t a total crackpot.

Of course, many, many scientists feel this is not a real possibility. The cells are likely not viable, the cost of tinkering with the natural order of the universe is too great, Michael Crichton passed away four years ago, it probably wouldn’t wind up sounding anything like Ray Romano, etc, etc.

I’m personally rooting for this to work. When I was in seventh grade, I had a (crackpot) science teacher who bravely veered away from school-sanctioned curriculum in order to teach us important scientific principles which could be gleaned from careful viewings of various documentary films: Milo & OtisE.T., and of course Jurassic Park. You know, the standard canon. Perhaps it’s just that my still-forming childbrain was fed misleading information by a washed up authority figure at a pivotal moment in my educational process, but I’ve always harbored a hunch that Crichton’s ideas weren’t so terribly far-fetched.

And yes, I also believe that dogs and cats can talk to one another. Duh.

Would you want to see the mammoth cloned? Sound off in the comments below…

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