Woolly Mammoth Goes On Display; To Be Cloned?
A 39,000-year old woolly mammoth found in Siberia last year is about to go on display in Yokohama, Japan for curious parties to check out on a three-month exhibition.
Named Yuka, the 2-year old female was found with permafrost on her shoulders but the rest of her body was encased in cold soil, so she is remarkably well-preserved. So much so, in fact, that researchers found blood around her that could be used to create clones and resurrect the species.
Russian scientists are teaming up with researchers from Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea on the project, but many are wary as to the validity of the clone claim.
“I strongly, strongly suspect that there will be zero intact cells in the find, regardless of whether blood is preserved. Without an intact, functional cell—one that can be de-differentiated into a stem cell in a petri dish—one cannot clone this animal,” DNA expert Beth Shapiro said.
If scientists are able to work with Yuka’s DNA, they’ll likely have a female elephant act as a surrogate mother. For now, Yuka is set to go on display from July 13–September 16.