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 Cloning the Ice Age

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Join date : 2008-10-30
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PostSubject: Cloning the Ice Age   Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:15 am

Japanese researchers are launching a project to revive the extinct woolly mammoth, using cloning technology to bring it back in an estimated 5-6 year's time. They will do this by using the tissue obtained from a mammoth carcass that has been preserved in a Russian research laboratory, the Yomiuri Shimbun (a mass-circulation daily) reported.

The team has invited a Russian mammoth researcher and two US elephant experts into the project and has already established a technique to extract DNA from frozen cells.

Researchers had once given up on cloning the mammoth after mammoth skin and muscle tissue were found damaged and proven unusable. Teruhiko Wakayama of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology then succeeded in cloning a mouse from the cells of another that had been kept in deep-freeze for 16 years.

Akira Iritani, leader of the team and a professor emeritus of Kyoto University, said, "If a cloned embryo can be created, we need to discuss, before transplanting it into the womb, how to breed [the mammoth] and whether to display it to the public," Iritani said. "After the mammoth is born, we will examine its ecology and genes to study why the species became extinct and other factors."

Article by ~ Lori Cline

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