Scientists Venture To Bring Back Wooly Mammoths

2011 Scientists from South Korea and Russia have signed onto a project that looks to bring back the wooly mammoth (also known as the Tundra mammoth) from extinction. Like they didn’t learn a lesson from watching the Jurassic Park movies?

Even more controversial than the storyline is the participation of a disgraced cloning expert from South Korea in the project. Hwang Woo-Suk, now with South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, was found to have falsified data claiming a stem cell research breakthrough and then forced to resign his post at Seoul National University in 2009. Still, Suk continues to enjoy notoriety in his native country as the first scientist to clone a dog. Now the question is can his use that expertise to reproduce a long time extinct animal and the chances may hinge on a variable entirely out of his hands.

This isn’t the first time scientists have set their sights on cloning a mammoth. Scientists in Russia researching the project have had their progress blocked by not having nuclei with undamaged mammoth genes. That changed last August when paleontologists reported discovering a well-preserved mammoth’s thigh bone in Siberia, raising the chances for a successful cloning procedure. Assuming that the researchers can find nuclei with undamaged genes, they would implant the embryos into elephant wombs for delivery. Although mammoths became extinct about 10,000 years ago, they are considered to be close enough relatives to the modern elephant.

You know what that means don’t u? Manny from the Ice Age movies will live. Will the mammoth be as cute as the one I have pictured here?

Online Bingo : Passtime That Takes Me Back

I occasionally play online bingo on quite evenings with some coffee by my side. My first memories of bingo being played were in the rooftop terrace parties at the apartment building my family and I lived in Kuwait City, Kuwait for some years before coming back to India. There were 18 families in all living in the building in small 2 bedroom apartments. Every year for social events the tenants would pool in money and organize a nice party on the terrace which everyone could enjoy. There would be games, musical competitions, quiz and lots of fun things for the kids to enjoy and lots of good food & eat. Usually towards the end of the night the adults would settle down for bingo and I’d sit next to my mom & dad and check the numbers with them.

As I grew older I’d play it myself at functions & parties. While studying at NIIT, I was part of the organizing committee for the annual day function and me and 3 others were in charge of getting sponsors & fund. Part of it was selling bingo (known locally as tambola) tickets for Rs.10 each and I’d charm all the girls to buy more than the boys and pleading with my brown eyes & boyish smile ;) and guess what – I sold more tickets than the rest of the team combined! And I loved that feeling of being able to bellow out “Bingo” when you got all the numbers ticked and you get a prize. At one such event I remember getting the big prize – an expensive dining set for four.

So anytime I play online bingo, as much fun as it is, it also brings me back to a time gone by. I get to relive the parties & events on that rooftop of that building in Kuwait and my exploits at 22 in NIIT.