January 17, 2011, 3:40 PM —
Here's an excellent idea that hasn't ever been illustrated as a catastrophic example of scientific hubris in a series of incredibly popular action-horror movies in which people innocently sitting in the john are savagely eaten by giant prehistoric things with big teeth:
A researcher at Kyoto University has announced plans to clone, produce and raise a wooly mammoth of a species that died out more than 5,000 years ago, then do it again, enough times to create a kind of Ice-Age version of Jurassic Park, probably without all the screaming and running.
There's some debate about the project. It may not be a mammoth, for one thing. The clone would come from the carcass of something large and furry dug from the permafrost in Siberia and preserved in a Russian lab for the past decade.
The group of Japanese scientists on the cloning team -- led in the mammoth-making effort by Akira Iritani of Kinki University's School of Biology Oriented Science and Technology -- think the cells are actually from more of a wooly rhinoceros sort of thing.
They'll use techniques demonstrated successfully on live cows and dead mice -- in this case injecting the mammoth/rhino DNA into the egg of an elephant to breed a hybrid mammoth/rhino/elephant/tentacled beast of the apocalypse.