Friday April 24 2015

Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday April 24 2015

Of Woolley Mammoths and Mass Transit

Provincial cash for Hamilton rapid transit still appears to be years down the road Ð and we still don’t know how much is available, or what it will be spent on.

But Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca was on Twitter shortly after today’s provincial budget announcement to hint good news is on the way.

“#HamOnt, I look forward to visiting in the coming weeks with more details about what our $31.5B Moving Ontario Forward plan means for you,” he tweeted as local residents expressed frustration online at the lack of local details in the 2015 budget.

Hamilton residents have waited years to find out if the province will cover council’s increasingly contentious request for $811 million for a light-rail line. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)

Meanwhile, A prominent McMaster University scientist involved in a new genetic study says scientists “in theory” could bring back the woolly mammoth from extinction within a matter of decades.

Hendrik Poinar, director of the Ancient DNA Centre at McMaster University was the senior Canadian researcher in a study published today about an international effort to successfully sequence a nearly complete genome of two Siberian woolly mammoths.

The research effort, he said, has created a genetic blueprint “of what makes a mammoth a mammoth.

“People involved in the de-extinction process … will find it exceptionally helpful.”

The mammoth’s closest living relative is the Asian elephant and science some day could use the genome information to reintroduce the species by raising in vitro mammoth fetuses and placing them inside Asian elephant mothers, Poinar said in an interview. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)