Wolly Mammoth Clone, Korean, Russian Scientists Announce Plans

 @IBTScience
on March 13 2012 11:55 AM
A mammoth reconstruction
A boy looks at a mammoth reconstuction in the Ice Age Museum in Moscow. In Siberia's northernmost reaches, high up in the Arctic Circle, the changing temperature is thawing out the permafrost to reveal the bones of prehistoric animals like mammoths, woolly rhinos and lions that have been buried for thousands of years. Wholly mammoths last roamed the Earth 10,000 years ago, but a team of Korean and Russian scientists announced their plan to bring the giant mammal back to life, like the fictional 1993 film that brought back dinosaurs. REUTERS

Call it Jurassic Park, Siberian style.

Wolly mammoths last roamed the Earth 10,000 years ago, but a team of Korean and Russian scientists announced their plan to bring the giant mammal back to life, like the fictional 1993 film that brought dinosaurs back to life.

The group of would-be cloners includes Hwang Woo-Suk, the disgraced researcher from the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea. Woo-Suk faked research into how to make human stem cells in 2006, and overnight became transformed from a national hero to pariah.

In 2009, scientists uncovered a whole mammoth, named Lyuba, preserved in the frozen tundra in Siberia.

The research group hopes to use DNA from the wholly mammoth to put back into nucleus-free elephant cells, then fertilize the creation back to life, the AFP reported.

The first and hardest mission is to restore mammoth cells, Hwang In-Sung, a researcher with the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, said to AFP.

One of the first challenges of the project will be shipping the actual wholly mammoth body to Korea, where the majority of the experiment will occur. The Beijing Genomics Institute will also be included in the research along with the North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic, according to AFP reports.

Vasily Vasiliev, vice rector of the Russian university, signed a deal Tuesday on the collaboration.

Researchers expect the remains to be shipped by the end of 2012 to Korea, where the experiment will be conducted.

This will be a really tough job, but we believe it is possible because our institute is good at cloning animals, Hwang In-Sung said.

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