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Jurassic Park? Russians Find Mammoth Carcass with Liquid Blood Hopefully Suitable for Cloning

Thu May 30 2013 6:47 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=63203
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Russian researchers say they have discovered a perfectly preserved woolly mammoth carcass with liquid blood on a remote Arctic island, fueling hopes of cloning the Ice Age animal.

A discovery of a frozen female wooly mammoth about 50-60 years-old with liquid blood and flesh gives hope to the possibility of cloning the animal that is believed to be extinct about 10,000 years ago. Mammoth blood is believed to remain liquid down to -1°F. Water freezes at 32°F.

The existence of preserved soft tissue remains and DNA of woolly mammoths has led to the idea that the species could be recreated by scientific means. Two methods have been proposed to achieve this. The first is cloning, which would involve removal of the DNA-containing nucleus of the egg cell of a female elephant, and replacement with a nucleus from woolly mammoth tissue. The cell would then be stimulated into dividing, and inserted back into a female elephant. The resulting calf would have the genes of the woolly mammoth, although its fetal environment would be different.

Another method would be to artificially inseminate an elephant egg cell with sperm cells from a frozen woolly mammoth carcass. The resulting offspring would be an elephant–mammoth hybrid, and the process would have to be repeated so more hybrids could be used in breeding. After several generations of cross-breeding these hybrids, an almost pure woolly mammoth would be produced.

The closest relative of the mammoth is the Asian elephant, but wooly mammoths are about the same size as modern African elephants.


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