Mammoth Resurrection in Four Years

This is happening way sooner thanI had anticipated. The road appears clear to resurrect the mammoth species atthis time, or at least it is down to working out the details.  I hope we do not have to master the art of creatinga viable nucleus from component parts.

Four years may be optimistic andit may still end up been four years spread over ten.  Yet it is time to think about we will do witha resurrected herd of at least fifty animals we will want to produce somegenetic diversity.  The Peace River Deltasounds like a good plan to me and I am sure that the Russians will have somegreat locates.

More importantly, this also opensthe door for the resurrection of the whole Pleistocene menagerie including direwolves, cave bears, and giant everything else. It also opens the possibility of the resurrection of recently extinctspecies such as the dodo and giant auk. More poignantly, I would like to see the passenger pigeon restored. 

A lot will not make it, but wewill feel far less guilty over our past behavior if we can create great refugiaholding such populations.

And then we have the curious observationof soft tissue recovery from large dinosaurs. Who knows where we will end up?

Mammoth 'could be reborn in four years'

The woolly mammoth, extinct for thousands of years, could be broughtback to life in as little as four years thanks to a breakthrough in cloningtechnology.

By Julian Ryall in Tokyo 2:13PMGMT 13 Jan 2011

Previous efforts in the 1990s to recover nuclei in cells from the skinand muscle tissue from mammoths found in the Siberian permafrost failed becausethey had been too badly damaged by the extreme cold.

But a technique pioneered in 2008 by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama, of theRiken Centre for Developmental Biology, was successful in cloning a mouse fromthe cells of another mouse that had been frozen for 16 years.

Now that hurdle has been overcome, Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University,is reactivating his campaign to resurrect the species that died out 5,000 yearsago.

"Now the technical problems have been overcome, all we need is agood sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth," he told The DailyTelegraph.

He intends to use Dr Wakayama's technique to identify the nuclei ofviable mammoth cells before extracting the healthy ones.

The nuclei will then be inserted into the egg cells of an Africanelephant, which will act as the surrogate mother for the mammoth.

Professor Iritani said he estimates that another two years will beneeded before the elephant can be impregnated, followed by the approximately600-day gestation period.

He has announced plans to travel to Siberiain the summer to search for mammoths in the permafrost and to recover a sampleof skin or tissue that can be as small as 3cm square.

If he is unsuccessful, the professor said, he will ask Russianscientists to provide a sample from one of their finds.

"The success rate in the cloning of cattle was poor until recentlybut now stands at about 30 per cent," he said. "I think we have areasonable chance of success and a healthy mammoth could be born in four orfive years."

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