Monday, April 17, 2017

DNA Mutations May Have Doomed the Woolly Mammoth 

DNA Mutations May Have Doomed the Woolly Mammoth

In the article "DNA Mutations May Have Doomed the Woolly Mammoth" the author explained how scientists found evidence of a large number of genetic mutations in woolly mammoths that most likely led to their extinction. A study done at the University of California, Berkeley, compared two mammoths DNA. The first was a 45,000 year old woolly mammoth from northeastern Siberia and the second was 4,300 years old from Wrangel Island. Both of the mammoths DNA were examined and researchers found that the mammoths most likely lost the sense of their olfactory bulbs which detect smell resulting in poor mate choice. This led to inbreeding and increased genetic mutations. This study now allows scientists to monitor gene mutation in small populations of animals before they go extinct. Also, they are trying to breed mammoths by making a mammoth elephant hybrid with these genes. The researchers now take closer looks at the genes before trying to breed them. This is interesting because if mammoths become "de-extinct" everything will change.

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