Scientists are hoping to clone the species using preserved DNA. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Majuti
Teams from Russia and South Korea are working together to bring the extinct species back to life.
Thought to have disappeared at some point within the last 11,700 years, the steppe bison was once a common sight across Europe, Central Asia, Canada and Japan.
The plan to create a live clone of the species will involve extracting its DNA from a well-preserved bison tail that was discovered earlier this year in the Siberian permafrost.
If the researchers succeed then not only will they have achieved a major milestone in resurrecting extinct species but they will also be one step closer to bringing back the woolly mammoth as well.
To start things off however they are first planning to clone Canadian wood bison.
"We decided to use a cow as a surrogate mother," said Dr Semyon Grigoryev, director of the Mammoth Museum at the North-Eastern Federal University.
"Our Korean colleagues already have an experience of cloning cows. And it will not affect the results much. If the experiment will be successful, we will get 99.8% newborn bison."
"It is very important for our project on cloning ancient animals to overcome the species barrier. As of now, no-one managed to do this, and the success of inter-species cloning can give us hope for the revival of extinct [animals] and preservation of endangered species."
Source: IB Times | Comments (21)