Ancient woolly mammoth cells woken up by scientists

Ancient woolly mammoth cells woken up by scientists

  • Japanese and Russian scientists have awakened cells from a woolly mammoth that roamed Earth 28,000 years ago.
  • The find was hugely exciting at the time, as it opened up the possibility of bringing the mammoth back to life-having well-preserved cells potentially allows scientists to create a clone of the specimen they came from.
  • Previously, the same team had tried to use nuclear transfer to spark activity in 15,000-year-old mammoth cells to no success, “Possibly owing to the technological limitations at that time and the inappropriate state of the frozen mammoth tissues,” they wrote.
  • Yuka, the woolly mammoth pulled from the Siberian permafrost.
  • “The mammoth nuclei showed the spindle assembly, histone incorporation and partial nuclear formation; however, the full activation of nuclei for cleavage was not confirmed,” they wrote.
  • This does not mean the woolly mammoth could be brought back from extinction.
  • Speaking to the Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, Kei Miyamoto, one of the scientists involved, added: “Yuka’s cell nuclei were more damaged than we thought, and it would be difficult to resurrect a mammoth as things stand. There’s a chance, if we can obtain better-preserved nuclei.”