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© RIA Novosti. Bolot Botchkarev

Russia and Japan to clone a mammoth

by at 15/03/2012 18:04

The Russia Academy of Sciences plans to clone a mammoth. The extinct mammal will be cloned by Japanese Kinki University, where scientists have been working on cloning pre-historic animals for 15 years, Interfax reported. The scientists could use Indian elephants as a basis instead of African, because their DNA is the closest to mammoths.

 

Notorious scientist not involved

The cloning will not be done by notorious South Korean geneticist Hwang Woo-suk, as was previously reported. Hwang Woo-suk was disgraced in the mid-2000s after it was found that he fabricated results of numerous experiments that were later published.

Hwang Woo-suk has signed a contract with the North-Eastern Federal University, but only for studying the mammoth, and is unlikely to work on the mammoth cloning, the Siberian branch of science academy announced.

The academy of sciences denied that the biological materials for cloning have already been sent abroad, arguing that there were a lot of formalities to take care of first. It will be sent to Kinki University no sooner that autumn.

 

Baby mammoth in Yakutia

The remains of baby mammoth Yuka were discovered by hunters in the summer of 2010 on the shore of the Laptev Sea in Yakutia, close to Yukagir village (that gave the name to the mammoth).

At the moment, the perfectly-preserved remains of the 200-kilogramm animal are stored in a local institute.

Two more remains were found next to Yuka – a bison and a horse. The world’s leading palaeontologists examined the remains between Feb. 27 and March 2, and determined the animals’ gender, approximate age, and how long ago they lived.

The baby mammoth Yuka was a female, up to 160 cm tall, and was four to five years old. The ancient bison was a four-year-old male, and the horse a five-to-six year old female.

The baby mammoth spent 9,000 to 10,000 years in the ground, while the bison and the horse – 3,000 to 4,000. Scientists established that Yuka and the horse were killed by cave lions.

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