A group of South Korean and Russian scientists are planning to bring the woolly mammoth back to life, 10,000 years after the species went extinct. Using tissue samples from the specimens recovered in Siberia after global warming thawed the region's permafrost, the scientists will clone the huge, hairy prehistoric mammals.
In order to resurrect the massive species, the scientists will take an egg cell from an elephant, and remove the cell's nucleus, which is the part that contains most of the cell's genetic material. This will be replaced by a nucleus taken from the mammoth's somatic cell, effectively creating an egg cell that could one day develop into a baby mammoth. But before the researchers can actually do any of this, they first have to find tissues with undamaged genes, and restore the cells after thousands of years of being frozen.
Aside from this particular team of scientists, a researcher from Kyoto University also revealed his plan to resurrect the species. Woolly mammoths roamed the Earth as far back as 150,000 years ago, and went extinct due to climate change and hunting by early humans.
[Image credit: Mauricio Anton]
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