Digging History

New DNA codes for mammoths: Step toward bringing them back?

In this Sept. 3, 2013 photo provided by Love Dalen, Eleftheria Palkopoulou inspects a woolly mammoth tusk to identify potential sites for DNA sampling, in the ancient DNA lab at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, in Stockholm, Sweden. Scientists are getting their best look yet at the DNA code for the woolly mammoth, thanks to work that could be a step toward re-creating the extinct beast. (Love Dalen via AP)

In this Sept. 3, 2013 photo provided by Love Dalen, Eleftheria Palkopoulou inspects a woolly mammoth tusk to identify potential sites for DNA sampling, in the ancient DNA lab at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, in Stockholm, Sweden. Scientists are getting their best look yet at the DNA code for the woolly mammoth, thanks to work that could be a step toward re-creating the extinct beast. (Love Dalen via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Scientists are getting their best look yet at the DNA code for the woolly mammoth, thanks to work that could be a step toward bringing back the extinct beast.

Researchers deciphered the complete DNA code, or genomes, of two mammoths. The new genomes are far more refined than a previous one announced in 2008.

Results were reported Thursday in the journal Current Biology. The DNA came from beasts found in Siberia and on an island near Russia.

Researchers said the genomes could be useful in efforts to creating mammoths through genetic engineering.

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Online:

Journal: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/home