Skip to comments.Mammoth fragments raise cloning hopes
Posted on 09/15/2012 11:44:55 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Well-preserved frozen woolly mammoth fragments have been discovered deep in Siberia that may contain living cells, edging a tad closer to the possibility of cloning a prehistoric animal, the mission's organiser has said.
Russia's North-Eastern Federal University said an international team of researchers had discovered mammoth hair, soft tissues and bone marrow some 328 feet (100 meters) underground during a summer expedition in the northeastern province of Yakutia.
Expedition chief Semyon Grigoryev said Korean scientists with the team had set a goal of finding living cells in the hope of cloning a mammoth. Scientists have previously found bones and fragments but not living cells.
Mr Grigoryev told the online newspaper Vzglyad it would take months of research to determine whether they have indeed found the cells.
"Only after thorough laboratory research it will be known whether these are living cells or not," he said, adding that would take until the end of the year at the earliest.
Woolly mammoths are thought to have died out around 10,000 years ago, although scientists think small groups of them lived longer in Alaska and on Russia's Wrangel Island off the Siberian coast.
Scientists already have deciphered much of the genetic code of the woolly mammoth from balls of mammoth hair found frozen in the Siberian permafrost. Some believe it's possible to recreate the prehistoric animal if they find living cells in the permafrost.
Those who succeed in recreating an extinct animal could claim a "Jurassic Park prize," the concept of which is being developed by the X Prize Foundation that awarded a 2004 prize for the first private spacecraft.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
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They've found more than just bones and fragments. They have found whole mammoths frozen/preserved, however sometimes they are exposed to the elements for a week before they are properly moved to a laboratory.
Not sure if there would be "living cells" in them. Talk about freezer burn.
I don’t understand what a “living cell” is in this context.
I think a living cell is a cell that they can still derive viable genetic material from it, not just read its DNA.
Using modern cloning techniques, they can take this viable genetic material and insert it into a fertilized egg of a close living relative, like an elephant, and hopefully give birth to a baby mammoth.
Too early to start firing up the grill?
Never too early to have a hot grill running.
But you’ll have to settle for something different than mammoth steaks. It probably tastes like chicken anyway.
Wouldn’t it be easier to get some fresh cells from this one and use them to clone a mammoth?
The trick is to find the mammoth still buried (remote imaging?) in the permafrost and cut out the whole block of Earth, take it where it can reasonably be worked on, and clean away the soil without damaging or defrosting the flesh.
The flash-frozen layer of the mammoth is on the outside, and at least some decomposition from residual body heat is likely in the innards. OTOH, the most famous recovery was of stomach contents of one of the first mammoths ever found and examined by scientists.
My cousin Mike bought an old circus elephant and put a coat on it and charged people $5 each to “SEE THE WOOLLY MAMMOTH!!!” He did ok until a guy down the highway put a coat on Bill Maher and had “SEE THE SASQUATCH!!!”
Better yet, we could get some from Fred Flintstone. ;’)
The london historical society fond one in the 1930’s, I think - they had a BBQ.
I saw one that was preserved (but exposed to Siberian weather for a week when it surfaced). It still had all the skin (leathery), some hair, and internal organs.
I wonder what a red wooly mammoth fur coat is worth?
I have no idea.
I don’t know either but to give you a ballpark idea, the baby wooly mamoth I did see was on display at Saks Fifth Avenue.
I see no good reason to clone the mammoth. They went extinct for a reason and it would be good to keep it that way.
Let’s not mess with DNA of dead, prehistoric creatures...
So who is going to volunteer to be a mammoth herder?
“Lets not mess with DNA of dead, prehistoric creatures...”
I say go for it
"That's clearly a fish with a bear in its mouth."
"That's clearly a bear with a fish in its mouth."
LOL! And there is nothing "clear" about the video, but I go with the "fish caught a bear" opinion. </s>
I guess this comes from reading too much SF as a kid (and even today) BUT ... I SOOOOOOO hope they can actually clone a mammoth within my lifetime! I think that would finally make me feel like I was living in that Jetsons’ world we were all promised way back when. If I can’t have a flying car, I want a woolly mammoth! ;o)