Jurassic snark? Hardly.
First reported in Nature Genetics, a team of scientists have sequenced the hemoglobin genes from the DNA of three flash-frozen Siberian mammoths to discover the living attributes between those animals and the modern day elephant, and in particular, how the mammoths managed to survive the extreme Siberian cold during their lifetimes some 25,000 and 43,000 years ago.
As it turns out, Mammoth hemoglobin was specially able to deliver oxygen to respiring cells at extremely cold temperatures, minimizing costly heat loss.
Using sophisticated techniques, Paleobiologists such as 2009 IdeaFestival presenter Chris Turney - no connection to the mammoth story - are increasingly able to use recovered biota and fossils to compare changes in life, then and now.
The agenda and speakers for the 2010 IdeaFestival ever will be released very soon!
Hat tip: Futurity.org