Animal Rights

Didn't They See Jurassic Park? Plans to Clone Mammoth

| by Reason Foundation

By Ronald Bailey

Japanese researchers are planning to insert nuclei from frozen mammoth cells into the enucleated elephant eggs in the hope of producing a live mammoth. As Physorg reports: 

A team of researchers will attempt to resurrect the species using cloning technologies after obtaining tissue this summer from the carcass of a mammoth preserved in a Russian mammoth research laboratory. It has already established a technique to extract DNA from frozen cells.

"Preparations to realize this goal have been made," said Prof. Akira Iritani, leader of the team and a professor emeritus of Kyoto University.

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Under the plan, the nuclei of mammoth cells will be inserted into an elephant's egg cells from which the nuclei have been removed to create an embryo containing mammoth genes.

The embryo will then be inserted into an elephant's womb in the hope that the animal will give birth to a baby mammoth....

In 2008, Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama of Kobe's Riken Center for Developmental Biology succeeded in cloning a mouse from the cells of mouse that had been kept in deep-freeze for 16 years. The achievement was the first in the world.

Based on Wakayama's techniques, Iritani's team devised a technique to extract the nuclei of eggs--only 2 percent to 3 percent are in good condition--without damaging them.

Hooray!