RIA NOVOSTI – February 25, 2015: “Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed…the possibility of cloning a woolly mammoth with the scientists from the Lazarev Mammoth Museum, part of the Northeastern Federal University. This museum is the only one of its kind in the world: with a collection that includes some of the most recently excavated and unique ancient animals. The head of the museum, Semyon Grigoriev, told the head of state that in the last 4 years they had managed to collect more than 4,000 exhibits. One of them is the a 12,500 years old mummy of a dog, the only one in the world, according to Grigoriev. The main treasure of the museum is the so-called Malolyahovsky mammoth, which is virtually intact, after being preserved for 28,000 years under the Siberian ice. Even its soft tissue and liquid blood remain. President Putin asked whether the scientists possessed materials to clone the animal. “Soft tissues are preserved, – said the president. – So, can it be cloned?” The museum staff explained that they are working in close co-operation with South Korean scientists in order to achieve this. As for the prospects of cloning, the students told Putin that there is a complete cell’s worth of mammoth DNA. The blood sample is kept in a specialized freezer at -17°C (1.4°F). Cloning prehistoric animals has interested scientists for a long time, but the results are still hard to predict.” Link: Read Complete Article
INDEPENDENT.CO.UK – April 14, 2015: “There is no shortage of woolly mammoth tissue, some of it remarkably well preserved in the permafrost of Siberia and some scientists are confident that they can extract its DNA to bring the species back to life, either as clones or as a kind of mammoth-elephant hybrid. …Scientists in South Korea and Russia are collaborating on a project to clone a woolly mammoth by extracting a cell nucleus from frozen mammoth tissue and inserting its entire genetic material into the enucleated (i.e. removing the original genetic nucleus which is the central and most important part forming the basis for activity and growth) egg cell (i.e. ovum) of an Asian elephant, which would also act as a surrogate mother. It’s the same basic cloning technique that led to the birth of Dolly the cloned sheep in 1996, except this time two species are involved rather than one – and one of them has been extinct for thousands of years. …For a start, finding a good enough mammoth cell nucleus in preserved tissue is a tall order. Getting it to spark into life as a cloned embryo developing from the egg of another species is even more problematic – and that’s before the difficulties of pregnancy and birth. …Another de-extinction approach is to cut and paste large fragments of mammoth DNA into the chromosomes of an Asian elephant, thereby creating a genetically-engineered mammoth-elephant “hybrid”.” Link: Read Complete Article
Artificial womb could grow mammoth-elephant hybrid, researchers say
CNET – April 30, 2018: The article highlights that researchers say “resurrected” woolly mammoth genes could help save modern day elephants from extinction, and they want to grow a hybrid in a lab to prove it.
Scientists are hoping an artificial womb will be the key to growing a mammoth-elephant hybrid in a lab and potentially saving the elephant from extinction.
A team of researchers at Harvard University, led by renowned geneticist Professor George Church, say they have isolated and “resurrected” 44 genes from the woolly mammoth. Speaking at the Fourth International Vatican Conference in Vatican City last Friday, Church said researchers could use gene editing to create hybrid elephants capable of resisting cold temperatures, The Telegraph reports.
“My goal is not to bring back the mammoth, it’s to bring back mammoth genes and show that they work and that we have already done it,” he said.