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Should we resurrect the woolly mammoth? Find out Tuesday night

If we wanted to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction, could we do it and, more importantly, should we do it?

Evolutionary geneticist leads lecture on possibilities and ethics of prehistoric cloning

McMaster professor said back in April that they were getting closer to possibly bringing back the wooly mammoth. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press)

If we wanted to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction, could we do it and, more importantly, should we do it?

Those will be the questions thrown around Tuesday night in free lecture from McMaster University professor Hendrik Poinar. An expert in evolutionary genetics, Poinar has been studying DNA from fossil remains for 20 years and he admits that there's a part of the child in him that would love to see the mammoth's return.

Poinar was part of a team of researchers from Sweden, the U.S. and Canada that, back in April, almost completely recreated the library of DNA from mammoths. From that study they were able to get new information about mammoth evolution and moved one step closer to figuring out why they went extinct.

More importantly, the research makes re-creating mammoths using cloning technology a "much more real possibility," Poinar said in an interview with CBC.

CBC Hamilton did a live chat with Poinar about the woolly mammoth, ancient DNA and more, back in January of 2014. You can find a copy of that chat here.

The ethics of bringing extinct animals has been a theme popularized by the Jurassic Park film series. Poinar has seen the 4-part series and praised the most recent iteration, even if he had to "turn off his brain."

This free lecture is open to everyone and will be held in the second floor auditorium of the Braley Health Sciences Centre at 100 Main Street West in Hamilton. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

You can reserve your seats for the event by emailing research@mcmaster.ca or by calling 905-525-9140 ext. 24934.