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Scientists to Clone Woolly Mammoth in Five Years


A Japanese scientist suggests that he may be able to clone a woolly mammoth using frozen mammoth cells within the next five years.

Professor Akani Iritani of Kyoto University told the The Daily Telegraph that he thinks there's a "reasonable chance" that a "healthy mammoth could be born in four or five years."

This is not the first time scientists have dreamed Jurassic Park-esque fantasies--previous attempts to clone the woolly mammoth failed in the 1990's, mainly because soft tissue extracted from the ice had been, well, frozen for over 5,000 years (and so the DNA was damaged).

However, in 2008 Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama of Kobe's Riken Center for Developmental Biology, pioneered a technique for cloning mammals from frozen soft tissue. Wakayama's technique was successfully implemented in cloning a mouse from the cells of a mouse that had been frozen for 16 years.

Iritani plans to use Wakayama's technique to first identify viable mammoth cells, and then extract the nuclei of the estimated 2 to 3 percent that will be in good condition. Iritani plans to obtain the mammoth tissue from a mammoth preserved in a Russian research laboratory, the Yomiuri Shinbun reports.

The extracted nuclei will then be injected into the (we assume fertilized) egg cells of a female African elephant, to create an embryo with mammoth DNA.

If all of these steps are successfully completed, the embryo will then be transplanted into the womb of a female African elephant by Professor Minoru Miyashita of Kinki University and two U.S. African elephant researchers. Miyashita was previously the head of Osaka's Tennoji Zoo. Once the embryo makes it into the elephant's womb, the team(s) will wait for the approximate 600-day gestation period and (God willing, or perhaps not) be rewarded with a baby mammoth.

Iritani expects it will take around two years to impregnate the female African elephant, and so the world can expect to see a baby mammoth in four to six years. Or, perhaps not--they're not sure what they're going to do with the mammoth when (if) it is ever cloned into existence.

"If a cloned embryo can be created, we need to discuss, before transplanting it into the womb, how to breed and whether to display it to the public," Iritani told the Yomiuri Shinbun, "After the mammoth is born, we'll examine its ecology and genes to study why the species became extinct and other factors."

The good news (I think) is that even if Iritani and his scientists manage to clone a mammoth that then grows to be 13 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 8,000 pounds, it'll still be smaller than an adult male African elephant (which can grow to be about 13 feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 13,000 pounds).


http://www.pcworld.com/article/216872/scientists_to_clone_woolly_mammoth_in_five_years.html
 

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I have poor impulse control.
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wouldn't it suck if the wooly's hair was the recessive gene and it came out just a plain old boring elephant? :laughing:
 

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I wonder why they plan on using an African elephant rather then a cold climate elephant like in Tibet. It would seem, of the two species, the Tibetan elephant would be a closer match.
 

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All I know is that if they don't start offering mammoth rides at the circus than this experiment is pointless.:D
 

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If they can do that, how long until Jurassic park? Its cool and all but they are playing with some very serious stuff here.
well Dolly was back in 1996, and with this mammoth 20 years later there will be one living again, so maybe another 20 years after that we might see the first attempts at a dino. so maybe 2030-2050? If they can perfect this mammoth cloning relatively quickly, i wouldn't doubt they'll try to clone a dinosaur even sooner than that.
 

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The real question is why? The animal died out for a reason. I really believe we shouldn't be messing with Mother Nature like this.
Then I guess you don't believe in boob jobs or dick pills either then? :laughing:
 

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wouldn't it suck if the wooly's hair was the recessive gene and it came out just a plain old boring elephant? :laughing:
It makes sense that the Japanese would be doing this. They have always been fascinated with the idea of returning dinosaur monsters. They made many movies like Godzilla and Rodan in the 50's. The monsters were always overrunning Japanese cities. Wooly mammoth today - Godzilla tomorrow?
 

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The real question is why? The animal died out for a reason. I really believe we shouldn't be messing with Mother Nature like this.

:agree: Very dangerous IMHO...

What was teh quote from Jurassic park.. "they were so worried about weather or not they could they didn't bother to think weather or not they should"
 

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I guess there is still hope for Ted Williams then, :huh:
 
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