Mammoth 'could be reborn in four years'
By Julian Ryall in Tokyo 2:13PM GMT 13 Jan 2011
The woolly mammoth, extinct for thousands of years, could be brought back to life in as little as four years thanks to a breakthrough in cloning technology.Previous efforts in the 1990s to recover nuclei in cells from the skin and muscle tissue from mammoths found in the Siberian permafrost failed because they had been too badly damaged by the extreme cold.But a technique pioneered in 2008 by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama, of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology, was successful in cloning a mouse from the cells of another mouse that had been frozen for 16 years.Now that hurdle has been overcome, Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University, is reactivating his campaign to resurrect the species that died out 5,000 years ago."Now the technical problems have been overcome, all we need is a good sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth," he told The Daily Telegraph.He intends to use Dr Wakayama's technique to identify the nuclei of viable mammoth cells before extracting the healthy ones. The nuclei will then be inserted into the egg cells of an African elephant, which will act as the surrogate mother for the mammoth.Professor Iritani said he estimates that another two years will be needed before the elephant can be impregnated, followed by the approximately 600-day gestation period.
Full story and pics here : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8257223/Mammoth-could-be-reborn-in-four-years.html
Woolly Mammoth (Smithsonian Prehistoric Zone)