HOW DO YOU CLONE A MAMMOTH?
Although extinct now for around 4500 years, the woolly mammoth was one of the most magnificent animals ever to walk the earth. Closely related to our modern day elephants, they were a much larger species often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long, course hair.
The largest known species, the Songhua River mammoth (Mammuthus sungari) , reached heights of at least 5 metres (16 ft) at the shoulder. Mammoths would probably normally weigh in the region of 6 to 8 tons, but exceptionally large males may have exceeded 12 tons. However, most species of mammoth were only about as large as a modern Asian elephant.
So, where do you start?
Japanese researchers, led by Akira Iritani, professor emeritus of Kyoto University, have begun plans to resurrect the long-extinct (except in our hearts and minds and museums) woolly mammoth through new cloning techniques. The researchers hope to induce the birth of a new woolly mammoth–the first since the last Ice Age within five or six years.
Thanks to the relatively recent death of mammoths (compared to, say, dinosaurs) and the frigid conditions in which they lived and died, there have always been lots of well-preserved mammoth bodies in the Arctic north.
In the past few years, that has led to an interest in cloning the creatures, but there was always some kind of stumbling block. Infuriatingly, the very thing that makes the mammoth so well-preserved the ice and freezing temperatures left much of the animal’s DNA too damaged to properly clone.
Teruhiko Wakayama of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology developed a new nuclei-extraction technique that enabled him to extract viable DNA from a mouse that had been frozen for 16 years at temperatures comparable to those in the final resting places of the mammoths. Iritani and the mammoth team created a method based on Wakayama’s technique that succeeded in extracting nuclei of mammoth eggs without damage–a major advancement in the quest for resurrected mammoths.
To find out more click on the following article: Saved from Extinction - The Mammoth?
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based on an article by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammoth and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16068581
Photo care of http://daravireak.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/plan-to-resurrect-woolly-mammoth-within-5-years/
Based on an article from http://daravireak.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/4-19-2011-7-35-05-am.png