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Could a Woolly Mammoth Be Cloned in the Next 5 Years?

Could a Woolly Mammoth Be Cloned in the Next 5 Years?

It's not quite Jurassic Park but it's close enough. Scientists using well-persevered bone marrow cells from a thigh bone found in the Siberian permafrost believe they will have a viable clone within five years.

The Daily Mail reports that Russia's Sakha Republic's mammoth museum and Japan's Kinki University will be using enucleated elephant eggs into which they will insert the nucleus from the mammoth's bone marrow cells to create a clone. An elephant would also play surrogate mother with the embryo being placed in its womb to grow to term.

This diagram depicts cloning of a woolly mammoth, but this time researchers seek to use bone marrow cells as a nucleus donor. (Image: The Telegraph)

Although scientists have been striving to clone mammoths since the 1990s, they have had problems finding cells with nuclei in tact, according to the Daily Mail. The scientists are reported as saying they believe these bone marrow cells have a greater chance of success.

Lyuba was the first of two calfs found frozen in the Russian permafrost in recent years. (Photo: Daniel Fisher/University of Michigan)

Earlier this year, a baby woolly mammoth was found in surprising condition in Russia's arctic permafrost. This second mammoth calf found in Russia is currently being researched for age and level of preservation, among other things.

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