Saturday 23 March 2019

Mammoth step forward in reviving extinct giant

This marks a
This marks a "significant step toward bringing mammoths back from the dead", researchers said. Stock image

Harry Cockburn

The last woolly mammoth populations died out just over 4,000 years ago, but the prehistoric giants could soon be back and plodding the Earth.

Scientists in Japan claim to have taken a "significant step" towards bringing the extinct species back to life, after they transplanted cells extracted from the carcass of a mammoth into a mouse, where they subsequently recorded positive biological activity.

The cells were taken from the 28,000-year-old mummified remains of a woolly mammoth found in Siberian permafrost in 2010. The animal, which was about seven-years-old, is one of the best preserved mammoths known.

"These results indicate that a part of mammoth nuclei possesses the potential for nuclear reconstitution," the scientists said in the journal 'Nature'.

Despite the successes, the scientists did not observe the further cell division necessary to create a viable egg, "possibly due to... DNA damage".

This marks a "significant step toward bringing mammoths back from the dead", researchers said. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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