Hollywood movies aren’t great repositories of scientific knowledge, but they do teach us a few things.
Rule #1: Time Travel is totally easy to do as long as you have a spaceship or a really really fast car – or need to change an apocalyptic future.
Rule #2: No matter what you do or how hard you try at some point computers will take over everything, create monster robots and lead you back to science fiction rule #1.
Rule #3: Anything that you clone will turn evil. No doubt, no question, there has never been a movie about clones where something didn’t go badly for everyone involved.
Clearly scientists in Russia don’t watch enough movies because a recent report says they’re about to clone a Woolly Mammoth.
Russian scientists from the Sakha Republic and a team of scientists from Kinki University in Japan have finally figured out how to extract perfect DNA from a well preserved mammoth found in the Siberian Ice.
The plan is as simple as it is predictable: they plan on cloning an egg, impregnating a modern elephant with it and then waiting for up to 600 days for the mammoth clone to gestate.
The process should take about 5 years, and I predict in year 6 we will be fighting off uncontrollable herds of wooly mammoths rampaging down Pennsylvania Avenue. I mean – think about it: mammoths are bigger than elephants, violent and haven’t been alive for a zillion years.
In every movie scientists seem to think that after all of this gene splicing of wild animals they’ll end up fine. They probably figure we’ll get cute characters from Ice Age but they’re more likely to end up like Samuel Jackson in Deep Blue Sea.
Rule #4: Genetically modified animals always go crazy and kill everybody.
According to one of the lead researchers in the project they are doing everything in their power to make sure the process is safe, ethical and not likely to spawn three sequels – but I’m not convinced.
It’s not so much that I fear Woolly Mammoths walking through the street, although that might be interesting. But, cloning in general is really just another form of creating sustainable commerce – which is both good and bad.
The United States is way behind other nations in the future ‘Clone Wars’ since for almost 10 years the Bush administration associated cloning work with abortion and therefore declared it evil.
Which means that for the last decade the majority of cloning research in America is being done by private corporations. All they want to do is make for-profit cloned beef, eventually organs and, yes, I’ll just say it: Super Soldiers of Fortune!
We can only hope that once the Obama Administration catches wind of this new Japanese/Russian collaboration that we’ll jump start our own cloning work. If their scientists are telling the truth we’ve only got about 5 years before they’re airdropping mammoths on Wall Street.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.