Japanese scientists ‘reawaken’ cells of woolly mammoth


Scientists in Japan have ‘awakened’ the 28,000-year-old cells of an ancient woolly mammoth, taking them one step closer to bringing the extinct animals back to life.

Yuka, a preserved mammoth, was discovered nine years ago in northern Siberia’s frozen permafrost wasteland, according to the ScienceAlert website.

Scientists are now engaged in implanting Yuka’s well-preserved cell nuclei into the egg cells of mice.

Kei Miyamoto, a genetic engineer from Kindai University, said cell activity could happen and parts of it could be recreated even though a remarkable amount of time has passed.

The scientists suggested that further functions such as DNA replication and transcription could be induced by activating less-damaged samples.

Miyamoto said that once they obtain cell nuclei in better condition, experiments on cell division could be carried out in the future.

He added, however, that there is a long way to go before the world could see a resurrection of the species.

* Gozde Bayar contributed to this story from Ankara