Mammoths are one step closer to being brought back from extinction

A new study recently published in the journal Nature reports that researchers from Japan have managed to successfully ‘restart’ 28,000-year-old cells from Woolly Mammoths implanted in Mice.

Scientists took the nuclei from the bone marrow and muscle tissue from a well-preserved woolly mammoth discovered in Siberian permafrost in 2011.

They implanted them into several dozen mouse egg cells and discovered evidence of essentials biological processes crucial for cell division to take place. Of the dozens of injected eggs, the researchers say five displayed biological reactions that happen just before cell division begins.

However, as reported by AFP, none of the injected eggs were observed to produce the necessary cell division for a mammoth rebirth.

While this is still far from scientists bringing back the extinct species to life, experts say that their research brings the one small step closer to making it happen.

The research was conducted by scientists from Japan, in participation with an international group of researchers.

“This suggests that, despite the years that have passed, cell activity can still happen and parts of it can be recreated,” explained Kei Miyamoto, a member of the team at Kindai University in an interview with AFP.

“Until now many studies have focused on analyzing fossil DNA and not whether they still function,” he added.

And while this is indeed a gigantic step towards possibly bringing a long-extinct species back to life, Miyamoto warned that their current research does not provide much hope for a Jurassic Park-style resurrection.

Not yet at least.

“We have also learned that damage to cells was very profound.”
“We are yet to see even cell divisions. I have to say we are very far from recreating a mammoth.”

Miyamoto and his colleagues at Kindai University worked with Russian institutes to study the possibility of cloning Mammoths and analyzing potential alternative methods that would allow scientists in the near future to clone and bring back prehistoric species back to life.

The results of their latest endeavor were published in the journal Scientific Reports where researchers explain that in order to make this happen, new technology is needed. Everything else is at our disposal.

“We need new technology, we want to try various approaches.”

“Our work provides a platform to evaluate the biological activities of nuclei in extinct animal species. Ancient species carry invaluable information about the genetic basis of adaptive evolution and factors related to extinction,” concluded researchers in the study.

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