Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years
2011 01 18

By Shingo Ito | OttawaCitizen.com/ AFP



Japanese researchers will launch a project this year to resurrect the long-extinct mammoth by using cloning technology to bring the ancient pachyderm back to life in around five years time.

The researchers will try to revive the species by obtaining tissue this summer from the carcass of a mammoth preserved in a Russian research laboratory, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

"Preparations to realise this goal have been made," Akira Iritani, leader of the team and a professor emeritus of Kyoto University, told the mass-circulation daily.


Under the plan, the nuclei of mammoth cells will be inserted into an elephant’s egg cell from which the nuclei have been removed, to create an embryo containing mammoth genes, the report said.

The embryo will then be inserted into an elephant’s uterus in the hope that the animal will eventually give birth to a baby mammoth.

The elephant is the closest modern relative of the mammoth, a huge woolly mammal believed to have died out with the last Ice Age.

Some mammoth remains still retain useable tissue samples, making it possible to recover cells for cloning, unlike dinosaurs, which disappeared around 65 million years ago and whose remains exist only as fossils

Researchers hope to achieve their aim within five to six years, the Yomiuri said.


The key steps needed to clone a live mammoth from a frozen carcass. Japanese researchers will launch a project this year to resurrect the long-extinct mammoth by using cloning technology to bring the ancient pachyderm back to life in around five years time. Image: Source

The team, which has invited a Russian mammoth researcher and two US elephant experts to join the project, has established a technique to extract DNA from frozen cells, previously an obstacle to cloning attempts because of the damage cells sustained in the freezing process.

Another Japanese researcher, Teruhiko Wakayama of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology, succeeded in 2008 in cloning a mouse from the cells of another that had been kept in temperatures similar to frozen ground for 16 years.

The scientists extracted a cell nucleus from an organ of a dead mouse and planted it into the egg of another mouse which was alive, leading to the birth of the cloned mouse.

Based on Wakayama’s techniques, Iritani’s team devised a method to extract the nuclei of mammoth eggs without damaging them.

But a successful cloning will also pose challenges for the team, Iritani warned.

"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."

More than 80 percent of all mammoth finds have been dug up in the permafrost of the vast Sakha Republic in eastern Siberia.

Exactly why a majority of the huge creatures that once strode in large herds across Eurasia and North America died out towards the end of the last Ice Age has generated fiery debate.

Some experts hold that mammoths were hunted to extinction by the species that was to become the planet’s dominant predator - humans.

Others argue that climate change was more to blame, leaving a species adapted for frozen climes ill-equipped to cope with a warming world.


Article from: ottawacitizen.com

Top Image: File photo taken on March 20, 2007 in Paris, shows a mammoth skeleton that will be auctioned with those of a bear and a rhinoceros on the 16th of April at Christie’s.
Photograph by: Jack Guez, Getty Images





Mammoth Task: Ice Age giants a big business thousands of years on

Video from: YouTube.com


How to Clone a Mammoth - Beth Shapiro (2009)

Video from: YouTube.com



Related Articles
Explorer: Who Killed the Woolly Mammoth? (Video)
Waking the Baby Mammoth [Video]
Mammoth’s genome pieced together
Woolly-mammoth gene study changes extinction theory
Mammoths and Other Great Beasts Peppered with Material from Space
Structure of HIV genome ’decoded’
Scientists unravel Neanderthal genome
Are There Missing Pieces to the Human Genome Project?
First genome transplant turns one species into another


Latest News from our Front Page

Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
Forty Years that Unmade France
2014 11 21
Eric Zemmour is a well-known French author and television personality. Of Algerian-Jewish origin, he may seem an unlikely spokesman for French tradition, but he has emerged in recent years as a prominent scourge of ideological orthodoxy. He is unquestionably the most prominent mainstream French commentator who speaks candidly about race. Eric Zemmour This role comes with a price. In 2011 he was ...
Richard Spencer Under Fire
2014 11 21
The Flathead Beacon has a story on the mobbing of Richard Spencer consequent to the publicity over the Budapest conference. The city council is being asked to “an ordinance barring hate-group activities in the community.” As several of the comments note, the First Amendment seems to be of no concern to these activists. The article is interesting ...
More News »