Last fall, I reported that plans were being made to clone an extinct species of horse as well as saber-tooth tigers.

Now comes news that Japanese scientists have awakened the cells of an extinct woolly mammoth as part of a long-term approach to resurrect that species.

Researchers from Kindai University in Osaka extracted bone marrow and muscle tissue from a long-frozen beast and injected it into the ovaries of a mouse, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Scientific Reports.

The experiment revived the 28,000-year-old creature’s cells, triggering “signs of biological activity,” according to the researchers.

“[It’s] a significant step towards bringing mammoths back from the dead,” Kei Miyamoto, one of the study’s authors, told the Nikkei Asian Review.

The Japanese team introduced portions of the mammoth’s cell nuclei into the reproductive cells of mice and evaluated the result.

The [cell nuclei] structures were then injected into mouse oocytes – a cell in an ovary which can undergo genetic division to form an egg cell.

The team said following the procedure a “pronucleus-like structure budded from the injected … mammoth nucleus”.

They also found possible signs of repair to damaged mammoth DNA.

“These results indicate that a part of mammoth nuclei possesses the potential for nuclear reconstitution,” the scientists said…

While some evidence of biological processes were seen, the cell damage is too much for bringing the mammoth back to life.

“We have also learned that damage to cells was very profound. We are yet to see even cell divisions. I have to say we are very far from recreating a mammoth.”

Woolly mammoths went extinct more than 4,000 years ago, with some scientists believing they died off from the changing climate and human hunters.

Despite Miyamoto’s comments, some researchers are attempting to bring the mammoth back with the use of gene editing, including the controversial CRISPR gene editing tool.

For Legal Insurrection readers who enjoy detailed scientific analysis, the team’s research and results have been published in Nature.

In response to which, I offer this from Jurassic Park.


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