Effort To Clone Woolly Mammoth Takes Big Step Forward

Scientists are one step closer to cloning a woolly mammoth, thanks to the results of a new autopsy conducted on a remarkably preserved specimen of the species discovered last year.

The 40,000-year-old mammoth, nicknamed “Buttercup,” was found in permafrost on the remote Siberian island of Maly Lyakhovsky. When scientists cut into the carcass, its fresh-looking flesh oozed dark blood, raising hopes that DNA could be extracted.

(Scroll down for gallery of images below.)

Scientists believe that the key to cloning the prehistoric beast is finding a complete copy of its DNA. That wasn’t found in this case, but the scientists did recover long fragments.

Plans call for researchers from South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation to analyze tissue samples from the carcass over the next two years, with the hopes of finding an intact genome.

“There is the possibility of finding something that’s amazing,” Insung Hwang, a Sooam scientist who was involved in the autopsy, told NBC. “We are very hopeful that this mammoth can give us an accurate genomic map that we can use as a template in the future to possibly bring back the mammoth.”

Even if researchers turn up empty-handed, some say it may be possible —> Read More Here


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