Mammoths Return in Four Years!

Yup, we could have one of those woolly creatures walking among us that soon.  The major hurdle, how to extract genetic material from long frozen tissue, has been overcome thanks to the pioneering research of Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama, of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology.

So now Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University, has reactivated his plans to clone a mammoth; a proposal he abandoned several years ago when attempts to extract mammoth DNA proved fruitless.   But with that technique seemingly now his grasp, Iritani is full of enthusiasm:

Now the technical problems have been overcome, all we need is a good sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth.

Iritani plans a trip to Siberia to hunt for such tissue in the permafrost of that region.  Once the tissue is found, and genetic material is recovered,  it will be need to be placed in the nucleus of an elephant egg.  An elephant will then be impregnated with this egg, and carry the mammoth to term.

Iritani believes the recovery and successful implantation will take approximately two years.  And elephants have a gestation period of about 600 days.  And Iritani believes this means:

[ A] healthy mammoth could be born in four or five years.

Very exciting.  Will there be a Mammoth Park?  Would you pay good money to see one in the flesh?  And, most importantly, will there be running and screaming?

Share y0ur thoughts with us about this scientific breakthrough in out comments section.


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