A team of scientists say they now have developed a process that will enable them to clone the mammoth and that the creature which has been extinct for 10,000 years may well walk the earth again in five years.
According to a report in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, a team of researchers from Japan, Russia and the United States hope to clone a mammoth by extracting DNA from a mammoth carcass that has been preserved in Russia and inserting it into the egg of an African elephant in the hope of creating an embryo within five to six years.
Previous attempts to clone a mammoth have failed but in 2008 Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama of Kobe's Riken Center for Developmental Biology, pioneered a technique for cloning mice from frozen soft tissue that was successful in cloning a mouse from DNA that had been frozen for 16 years.
If the scientists are able to identify viable mammoth cells and are able to extract the nuclei in good condition which will be injected into the elephant egg that will be transplanted into the womb of an African elephant, the team of researchers will then wait the approximate 600 day gestation period to see whether or not a baby mammoth will be born, reports PCWorld.
Professor Iritani told the Telegraph, "The success rate in the cloning of cattle was poor until recently but now stands at about 30 per cent. I think we have a reasonable chance of success and a healthy mammoth could be born in four or five years."
Iritani says in the report, "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. After the mammoth is born, we'll examine its ecology and genes to study why the species became extinct and other factors."