In the first half, author Ben Mezrich discussed his latest work about the advances in technology that could possibly revive the woolly mammoth from extinction using ancient DNA. The mammoth, which was similar to an elephant, but somewhat larger, went extinct around 3,000 years ago, hunted and eaten by humans. However, well preserved bodies have been found in ice that DNA can be gleaned from. The geneticist George Church plans to sequence the animal's genome, synthesize it, and then place those genes into the embryo of an Asian elephant, Mezrich explained. It's possible to grow the mammoth in a synthetic see-through womb, he added.
Church's ultimate goal with the woolly mammoth is to build an entire herd of 80,000 that could live on the Siberian tundra, and actually help maintain the environment there, Mezrich detailed. He also outlined how the remarkable CRISPR genetic technology works by inserting specific genes into any living cell. This technology can not only be used to revive extinct species like the mammoth, but also breed such things as malaria-free mosquitoes and Lyme disease-free mice, which could be introduced into the general population.
Additionally, Church's lab at Harvard is exploring the idea of "reverse aging." They've said that "our children will live 150-170 years, and the next generation beyond that very well could be the last generation to die," Mezrich reported. They're looking at aging as a kind of disease, and failure of a natural process. When cells replicate, they deteriorate, he explained, but if you can figure out a genetic way to change that, then aging ceases, and people can have an extended lifespan without the complications of a body that's breaking down.
Rick Osmon was an civilian electronics technician with the US Navy where he worked with the highest levels of technology including night vision and lasers. In the third hour, he discussed archaeological evidence for seafaring visitations by ancient Romans and others in North America, which occurred far before the time of Columbus. Civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and even the Egyptians came to the Americas to seek out commodities such as copper, he stated. He cited how various Ohio Valley fortresses bear a strong similarity to ancient structures in the British Isles.
The last hour featured Open Lines.