Tuesday, July 9, 2013

True Blood (from a mammoth)

Frozen woolly mammoths Mammuthus primigenius are exciting and very revealing discoveries when they are found. They usually reveal important clues on their ecology and biology, as well as their growth cycle; we know of frozen mammoths ranging from infants to elderly individuals. Because of the subzero temperatures of their final resting place (the north of Russia, generally), they are remarkably well-preserved, with internal organs, skin, and hair all frozen in time.

A test tube of mammoth blood. Hoooooly crap. Photograph by Semyon Grigoriev.

This week, something even more startling was recovered from one of these frozen titans. Liquid blood. This isn't an internet scam or a too-good-to-be-true hoax: a small test tube of liquid blood from the sample was collected, and will be analyzed to determine just how it managed to stay liquid for 10,000 years. The mammoth, a female, was found with the lower half of her body very well preserved, though the upper half was visibly gnawed on by other animals. This indicates that she probably died in a bog or swamp, becoming stuck in deep water or mud.

What does this liquid blood imply? Could this fuel the increasingly common idea to clone extinct animals if we can? And what would we be able to do with a cloned mammoth? Only time will tell how this startling new discovery fuels the future for extinct animals.

1 comment:

  1. As True Blood DVD Season 5 just finished, season 5 brings people many doubtful ends.in the dinal episode, Russell, along with Eric's vampire sister Nora and Salome, redefine the values of the Authority and view humans as nothing more than food: just as Lilith of the Vampire bible wanted. The season ends with Bill drinking the blood of Lilith in front of Sookie and Eric. He begins to fall apart, ultimately meeting the "true death". Shortly after, a nude Bill "rises from the blood", as an even more powerful vampire ("Lilith"). Surprised, Eric yells for Sookie to run prior to the end credits playing. None knows what will happen then in season 6 of true blood series. We will find the answer at the begining.