YAKUTSK, Russia – Japanese and Russian scientists might be able to clone a mammoth after confirming the presence of well-preserved bone marrow in a mammoth thighbone found in Siberian permafrost, Kyodo News reported.
The scientists from the Sakha Republic's mammoth museum and Kinki University's graduate school will begin research next year to regenerate the huge mammal, which became extinct about 10,000 years ago.
They will transplant nuclei from the bone marrow cells into elephant egg cells whose nuclei were removed through a type of cloning. The process can create an embryo that can be planted into an elephant womb for birth.
For scientists involved in the research since the late 1990s, finding nuclei with undamaged mammoth genes has been a challenge, AFP reported.
But the discovery in August of the well-preserved thighbone in Siberia increased the chances of a successful cloning.