Could a live mammoth soon walk the Earth again ?
Situated in Yakutsk, the world’s coldest city, the new laboratory will focus on locating live cells within the preserved remains of prehistoric beasts with the intention of creating cloned animals.
The main emphasis will be on bringing back the woolly mammoth, a large prehistoric relative of the modern elephant that is believed to have gone extinct somewhere around 10,000 years ago.
Both the Beijing Institute of Genomics and South Korea’s Sooam Biotech company, which has made significant advancements in the field of dog cloning, will also be involved in the research.
“In order to clone a mammoth, three parties signed an agreement on cooperation that could make our dream come true,” said Semyon Grigorev, director of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk.
The task is certainly a challenging one, especially given that so little viable DNA has ever been recovered from mammoth remains and nothing like this has ever been done before.
The team however remains optimistic that cloning a mammoth is something that can be done – especially if a perfectly preserved specimen can be found within the next few years.
If they succeed it will be one of the most significant scientific accomplishments in history.