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
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
Gov’t Fear Factory: ISIS Is Here, Just in Time for Another 9/11 Anniversary
2014 08 23
The government has been doing a whole lot of talking lately about the 9/11-style threat ISIS poses on American soil, how ISIS is like ’nothing the Pentagon has ever seen’ and how ISIS is likely already here... and all just in time right before another 9/11 anniversary! Fancy that.
Considering it’s on record where ISIS got a lot of its military ...
France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms
2014 08 22
President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “a few months ago.”
The deliveries took place “a few months ago, when the Syrian rebels had to face both the armies of the dictator Bashar al-Assad and this terrorist group Islamic State,” Hollande told reporters on a tour of the ...
Brooklyn DA exposes hidden Child Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox Jewish Community
2014 08 22
Comment: We all know that the sex abuse cases within the Catholic church have been plastered all over the media in the last 6-8 years, but when do you ever hear about the rapes, sexual molestation and child sex abuse cases within the jewish orthodox community? Is the media helping to cover it? Will they give the same treatment of ...
California’s Economic Collision Course: Immigration and Water
2014 08 22
You have heard it before: “As California goes, so goes the nation.” If that is the case, the national economy will be harmed for decades to come because of California’s misplaced priorities today. Indeed, by emphasizing high-speed rail over water and failing to deal with its debt crisis, California poses a long-term threat to our national economy and ...
ISIS offered to swap Foley for ’Lady Al Qaeda’ - neuroscientist MIT-graduate
2014 08 21
An MIT-educated neuroscientist terrorist known as ’Lady al Qaeda’ was named on a ’laundry list’ of demands from ISIS captors holding James Foley named, it was revealed today.
Petite mother-of-three Aafia Siddiqui is currently serving 86 years in a Texas jail after being arrested with plans for a ’mass casualty attack’ in the US, including infecting people with Ebola and a ...
|More News » |