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Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:06 pm
by valkea
TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese researchers will launch a project this year to resurrect the long-extinct mammoth by using cloning technology to bring the ancient pachyderm back to life in around five years time.

The researchers will try to revive the species by obtaining tissue this summer from the carcass of a mammoth preserved in a Russian research laboratory, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

"Preparations to realise this goal have been made," Akira Iritani, leader of the team and a professor emeritus of Kyoto University, told the mass-circulation daily.

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

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

The elephant is the closest modern relative of the mammoth, a huge woolly mammal believed to have died out with the last Ice Age.

Some mammoth remains still retain usable tissue samples, making it possible to recover cells for cloning, unlike dinosaurs, which disappeared around 65 million years ago and whose remains exist only as fossils

Researchers hope to achieve their aim within five to six years, the Yomiuri said.

The team, which has invited a Russian mammoth researcher and two US elephant experts to join the project, has established a technique to extract DNA from frozen cells, previously an obstacle to cloning attempts because of the damage cells sustained in the freezing process.

Another Japanese researcher, Teruhiko Wakayama of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology, succeeded in 2008 in cloning a mouse from the cells of another that had been kept in temperatures similar to frozen ground for 16 years.

The scientists extracted a cell nucleus from an organ of a dead mouse and planted it into the egg of another mouse which was alive, leading to the birth of the cloned mouse.

Based on Wakayama's techniques, Iritani's team devised a method to extract the nuclei of mammoth eggs without damaging them.

But a successful cloning will also pose challenges for the team, Iritani warned.

"If a cloned embryo can be created, we need to discuss, before transplanting it into the womb, how to breed (the mammoth) and whether to display it to the public," Iritani said.

"After the mammoth is born, we will examine its ecology and genes to study why the species became extinct and other factors."

More than 80 percent of all mammoth finds have been dug up in the permafrost of the vast Sakha Republic in eastern Siberia.

Exactly why a majority of the huge creatures that once strode in large herds across Eurasia and North America died out towards the end of the last Ice Age has generated fiery debate.

Some experts hold that mammoths were hunted to extinction by the species that was to become the planet's dominant predator -- humans.

Others argue that climate change was more to blame, leaving a species adapted for frozen climes ill-equipped to cope with a warming world.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110117/wl ... 0117104445


Interesting article, wonder how it'll go.

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:39 pm
by wolfman200789
i disagree with these researchers the will tootally mess up th balance of nature the mamoths went extinct for a reoson man has had problems with this type of thing in the past amerocans tried to create a bee that was a more efficiant honey maker instead they got the agrissive bee kiliing bee known as the infamus killer bee a few escaped and started breeding the killer bee was then born and again with the cane toad they transeported it form australia to take care of pests instead thye started breeding and very rapidly and with no natral predetors in the area the spread fast and with toxic skin it kills hundreds of dogs and small children each year i would laugh at japan so hard if this gos horribly wrong they should not medal with nature no man should

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:00 pm
by Kivia
Ah, I was just about to post an article on this, but I see one is alrighty up. =D

I think this is totally bizarre, but in a good way. I mean, to bring back something that died out thousands of years ago? It's crazy what we can do with technology. But if the mammoth is actually brought back, I wouldn't think they would release any into the wild, nor should they. If I got to see one in a zoo, well, that would be good enough for me.^^

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:20 pm
by Alpha Female
This is a rather interesting article. I'm on the edge on this. On one hand, it would be neat seeing a real mammoth and see if this whole process actually works. On the other hand, they died out for a reason. I'm not sure if it would be best to bring them back. However, that's just my opinion on this. =3
Thanks for sharing!

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:56 pm
by Grin
I saw a television show many months ago on what this article discusses.

I agree that it is amazing what technology can do for us nowadays. I look forward to seeing a pure bred mammoth being born, which if my memory serves me correctly, will take a few generations of breeding to achieve. I really doubt that they would release these creatures in the wild either. Scientists would be too busy studying the few specimens that they have available, and I'm pretty sure that poachers or careless people would be the cause of their death if released.

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:08 pm
by Thandi
And next, a dinosaur? XD

Well, I frankly think that this a abosolutely amazing of what humans can do now a days.

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:33 pm
by wolfman200789
Stray Fang wrote:And next, a dinosaur? XD

Well, I frankly think that this a abosolutely amazing of what humans can do now a days.
it is amazing but its also sad its sad because people throughout history have that of a thing like this but the way we treat animals it would be like saveing someones life just to kill the person all over again and which is why its should not happen and what if humans suceed what are we going to do with it??? i have never heard a scientest talk about what there going to do if the suceed in something like this are they just gone to put a giant mamoth in a zoo for a creature that big it seem a little unfair and we dont have the right climate some areas are warm some are cold and the cold areas are going away very fast

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:48 pm
by Grin
Producing a live mammoth will give scientists a chance to study the species.
The article also included the following:
"After the mammoth is born, we will examine its ecology and genes to study why the species became extinct and other factors."
It's likely that they will place this mammoth in a small preserve or area(perhaps a zoo) while they study it. Also, I watched a show on Animal Planet that was basically about a man who traveled into the future and brought back extinct specimens(it was realistic), including a woolly mammoth. In order to keep it cool, they used shears to shorten its thick fur coat and hosed it down, I believe. No matter where it is held, it is completely possible to simulate a cooler climate. Zoos and animal parks do this every day.

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:44 pm
by valkea
It probably wouldn't be a good idea to release them into the wild. Poachers would be quick to try to kill them, and they went extinct for a reason. That's just my opinion though. It is pretty amazing what can be done with technology these days now, though. Like I said, hopefully it goes well and they can study it to see exactly why they died out.

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:03 pm
by UFSoil
It is possible, yes. I find five years still not enough though.

Modern day science and stem cell research can do unbelievable things, and I find it very interesting. Thanks for posting the article!

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:18 pm
by Koa
Thanks for sharing - blows my mind what technology can do for us now.

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:41 pm
by Zarago
That would be amazing. I suppose if they can do this, they could do this with other extinct animals too.

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:56 pm
by Canidae
Ahh no, I hope they don't do this. At least not with mammoths.

Mammoths went extinct for a reason; man had nothing to do with it. If nature killed them, they need to just stay gone, because that's how things work here on good ol' Planet Earth. Just because we CAN resurrect something doesn't mean we SHOULD.


Now then, if they can use this technology to resurrect species that DID disappear because of humans...that would be pretty darn awesome.

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:29 pm
by wolfman200789
Canidae wrote:Ahh no, I hope they don't do this. At least not with mammoths.

Mammoths went extinct for a reason; man had nothing to do with it. If nature killed them, they need to just stay gone, because that's how things work here on good ol' Planet Earth. Just because we CAN resurrect something doesn't mean we SHOULD.


Now then, if they can use this technology to resurrect species that DID disappear because of humans...that would be pretty darn awesome.
exacty we should not mess with mamoths but i am cocerned of the human species we already think we own planet earth and are killing off animals what if resurecting a extinct creature succeds man kind will get it in the heads that theres no point in protecting nature if we can bring it back but what if i does not work after a few succesful attempts then all that went extinct while we were messing with previously extinct animal will be gone and we may not get them back planet earth will be in real trouble then thats why i disagree with this project they should not be meddleing with nature or we will come to regret it

Re: Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years

Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:37 am
by Grin
Canidae wrote:Ahh no, I hope they don't do this. At least not with mammoths.

Mammoths went extinct for a reason; man had nothing to do with it. If nature killed them, they need to just stay gone, because that's how things work here on good ol' Planet Earth. Just because we CAN resurrect something doesn't mean we SHOULD.


Now then, if they can use this technology to resurrect species that DID disappear because of humans...that would be pretty darn awesome.
Well, I know that one theory as to why mammoths went extinct is that they were hunted to extinction by humans. Back then, humans were thought to have hunted them for food, resources, and their own entertainment. Like all of the other theories, it has never been able to be proven, but this is a main reason why scientists are trying to resurrect these animals.