Researchers hope to clone a wooly mammoth in the next five to six years. Image: Flickr / hawkoffire / CC-BY

Theoretically, cloning a wooly mammoth has been possible for decades. Now, researchers in Japan and Russia have agreed to work together in an effort to clone a mammoth by 2017.

Viable nuclei found

Though the theoretical work of cloning a mammoth was done years ago, the stumbling block has been nuclei. Mammoth bones and bodies have been found, but all of these body parts have had very heavily degraded DNA. No viable cell nuclei had been found in mammoth bones or bodies until very recently. In August of this year, a mammoth thigh bone with viable DNA was found in Russia. Researchers plan on extracting DNA from this bone and using it to clone the species that has been extinct for 10,000 years.

Elephant relationship utilized

The wooly mammoth has been targeted for cloning research for a specific reason. The wooly mammoth is closely related to the modern elephant. The extinct DNA will be removed from the bone, replicated, and then implanted in an elephant egg, then implanted in an elephant host mother. If all goes according to the theoretical plan, then the elephant host mother will eventually give birth to a living, breathing mammoth.

Questions of ethics

Though researchers intend to create a cloned wooly mammoth in the next five to six years, there are still questions about the ethics of this plan. The mammoth thigh bone was revealed by the warming Siberian ice in Russia and has been sitting in storage for years. Researchers question whether it is ethical to re-create a species that is extinct – both from a standpoint of humane treatment and a standpoint of medical ethics. There are strong arguments on both sides, and as researchers continue their work, the final deadline for decision and action will soon come.

Sources

Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2069541/Woolly-mammoth-brought-life-cloned-bone-marrow-years.html
Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/japan-russia-cloning-woolly-mammoth-2011-12
Discovery.com http://news.discovery.com/animals/woolly-mammoth-cloned-111205.html

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)

Connect

Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from https://personalmoneynetwork.com to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]