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Palaeontology

New mammoth find could aid cloning efforts

By T.K. Randall
October 9, 2015 · Comment icon 10 comments

The goal of cloning a mammoth is now one step closer. Image Credit: CC BY 2.5 Public Library of Science
Scientists have unearthed a well-preserved mammoth specimen on the Lyakhovsky Islands in Eastern Russia.
Discovered by the members of a team dedicated to bringing the extinct elephant ancestor back to life, the new specimen is particularly important because it includes samples of skin which scientists believe can be used to extract DNA for cloning purposes.

"The skin is especially interesting for the Revival of the Mammoth project," said Dr Semyon Grigoroiev of Russia's Applied Arctic Ecology Institute.
"Our Korean colleagues believe that skin is the best material for cloning attempts, through finding viable cells. Now we are studying the skin in our new laboratory."

The discovery of this latest specimen also came with a bonus in the form of a tusk that belonged to the pygmy mammoth - a species that grew to a maximum of 6ft tall with a weight of up to 750kg - a mere minnow compared to its gargantuan 10-ton cousins.

Whether the scientists will be able to extract viable DNA from the mammoth skin found at the site however is something that we'll likely hear more about over the coming weeks and months.

Source: BT.com | Comments (10)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Fedex 9 years ago
Yay!!!
Comment icon #2 Posted by BeastieRunner 9 years ago
Pleistocene Park just doesn't have the same ring to it. Nor does Pleistocene World.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
Pleistocene Park just doesn't have the same ring to it. Nor does Pleistocene World. Maybe not, but a pride of Smilodon fatalis would be neat.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ROGER 9 years ago
Not in my backyard !
Comment icon #5 Posted by acute 9 years ago
When I read "mammoth find", I wondered what huge haul had been unearthed. I was very disappointed to find it was just another big elephant.
Comment icon #6 Posted by highdesert50 9 years ago
Perhaps the question might be, should we be bringing back the woolly mammoth in light of the current extinction rate, caused by humans, estimated to be at least one thousand times higher than the natural rate. Should we be focused on preserving that which we have?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Frank Merton 9 years ago
Perhaps the question might be, should we be bringing back the woolly mammoth in light of the current extinction rate, caused by humans, estimated to be at least one thousand times higher than the natural rate. Should we be focused on preserving that which we have? Well maybe we should ask maybe we should focus on saving children rather than almost extinct animals, and then again we could ask maybe we should focus on being happy rather than helping others. Did you ever hear of multitasking? When I read "mammoth find", I wondered what huge haul had been unearthed. I was very disappointed to find... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Gingitsune 9 years ago
Perhaps the question might be, should we be bringing back the woolly mammoth in light of the current extinction rate, caused by humans, estimated to be at least one thousand times higher than the natural rate. It is important to understand that this is only possible with the mammoth because we found well enough preserved remains for cloning, as good as living flesh. It won't be possible with say, the dodo or any other museum DNA. Or at least, it is not possible yet. As for Smilodon fatalis, we don't have any frozen remains of these, so it's not even in the choices. Cloning mammoth is a one of ... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by kobolds 9 years ago
say yes to, mammoth Steak
Comment icon #10 Posted by Harte 9 years ago
Perhaps the question might be, should we be bringing back the woolly mammoth in light of the current extinction rate, caused by humans, estimated to be at least one thousand times higher than the natural rate. Should we be focused on preserving that which we have? I say bring them back, breed them, and use them as a food and ivory source to save modern elephants. Harte


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