If you want to clone a baby mammoth, for goodness' sake keep it frozen!

Nicholas Wade writes to answer the mammoth cloning question. I know, nobody cares about anything else. It's always, "Clone, clone, clone!"

Well, keep this in mind:

The reconstructed sequence of DNA units would then need to be turned into an actual mammoth genome. Mammalian genomes are made up of chromosomes of about 100 million DNA units in length and are beyond the capacity of current synthesis. Still, researchers at the Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., say they are close to synthesizing the genome of a bacterium that is 500,000 units long.

There's a lot of doing between a bacterium genome and a chromosome. Don't hold your breath.

And then, there's the picture:

Inspecting baby mammoth, in tanktops

Inspecting the baby mammoth carcass. Photo credit: Sergei Cherkashin/Reuters

Here's a piece of advice: If the room is warm enough for tank tops, it's too warm to preserve permafrost mammoth sperm.

No, that's not Henry Harpending. At least, I don't think it is...