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08. 15. 2008

Will scientists bring extinct mammoths back to life?

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As an initial step towards developing the biotechnology for bringing back extinct species, scientists in the U.S. and Australia have already demonstrated the viability of certain DNA from Tasmanian tiger cubs preserved for 100 years.

Researchers are now conducting studies in "somatic cell nucleus transfer" which may hold great promise in resurrecting species that have long been extinct. Professor Akira Iritani of Kinki University in Japan is working with a university in Thailand to use an elephant as a surrogate to give birth to a mammoth. The cloning method involves taking a denucleated egg from am elephant and replacing it with the nucleus of a cell from a frozen mammoth. Though scientists have previously failed in such attempts due to damage in the preserved genetic material, advances made in repairing damaged DNA brings them much closer to achieving a live birth. This cloning method also holds promise for replenishing endangered species once their population drops below 1,000.

Via The Nikkei Weekly (subscription).

Posted by lydia    Category: current affairs
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