Should Scientists Clone Mammoths?

It has been several millennia since the last mammoths died out, after more than 100,000 years of dominating Arctic ecosystems. But the hairy elephants could return within decades, brought back to life by recent breakthroughs in biotechnology. In this lucid road map for the nascent discipline of “de-extinction,” Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist, examines not only how we can resurrect long-vanished species but also when we cannot or should not. Most poignantly, Shapiro argues that without revitalizing ecosystems in which a resurrected species might flourish, in many cases de-extinction could be too cruel to countenance.