Monday, January 17, 2011

Japanese Scientist plans to clone Mammoth

Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University in Japan, is looking to resurrect the woolly mammoth using a new cloning technique. Previous attempts to clone mammoth in the 1990s failed because nuclei in cells found in the muscle tissue and skin of woolly mammoth's located in the Siberian permafrost were severely damaged by the cold.

In 2008, Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama from the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology developed a cloning technique that allowed him to use the cells of a mouse that was frozen for 16 years to clone a new mouse. This technique has paved the way for new clone-related opportunities, and has inspired Iritani to resurrect the woolly mammoth.

Iritani plans to travel to Siberia to find samples of mammoth tissue in the permafrost. Once Iritani obtains the nuclei, he will insert it into an African elephant's egg cells. The African elephant will be the surrogate mother of the new mammoth.

"The success rate in the cloning of cattle was poor until recently, but now stands at about 30 percent," said Iritani. "I think we have a reasonable chance of success and a healthy mammoth could be born in four or five years."

Read more here: DailyTech - Woolly Mammoth Could Walk the Earth Again in 4 Years

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