We may be on the brink of being able to clone a woolly mammoth. Last year an incredibly complete, 40,000 year old mammoth carcass was discovered in the Lyakhovsky Islands – it even had liquid blood. According to scientists at the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, the cells gathered were the least damaged ever found, and may be complete enough to clone the mammoth.
Any baby will be a mammoth-elephant hybrid born through a surrogate mother – probably the most difficult part of the process as elephant husbandry is notoriously difficult. The team also say they want to make sure that if they DO clone the mammoth they are doing it for valid scientific reasons.
Radik Khayrullin, the vice-president of the Russian Association of Medical Anthropologists, was quoted as saying “The data we are about to receive will give us a high chance to clone the mammoth,” adding that “we must have a reason to do this, as it is one thing to clone it for scientific purpose, and another to clone for the sake of curiosity.”