Scientists trying to clone, resurrect extinct mammoth
A woolly mammoth skeleton is seen on display at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas in September 2009.
January 17th, 2011
11:31 AM ET

Scientists trying to clone, resurrect extinct mammoth

Instead of Jurassic Park, try Pleistocene Park.

A team of scientists from Japan, Russia and the United States hopes to clone a mammoth, a symbol of Earth’s ice age that ended 12,000 years ago, according to a report in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun. The researchers say they hope to produce a baby mammoth within six years.

The scientists say they will extract DNA from a mammoth carcass that has been preserved in a Russian laboratory and insert it into the egg cells of an African elephant in hopes of producing a mammoth embryo.

The team is being led by Akira Iritani, a professor emeritus at Kyoto University in Japan. He has built upon research from Teruhiko Wakayama of Kobe's Riken Center for Developmental Biology, who successfully cloned a mouse from cells that had been frozen for 16 years, to devise a technique to extract egg nuclei without damaging them, according to the Yomiuri report.

The U.S. researchers are in vitro fertilization experts. They, along with Kinki University professor Minoru Miyashita, will be responsible for implanting the mammoth embryo into an African elephant, the report said.

"If a cloned embryo can be created, we need to discuss, before transplanting it into the womb, how to breed [the mammoth] and whether to display it to the public," Iritani told Yomiuri. "After the mammoth is born, we'll examine its ecology and genes to study why the species became extinct and other factors."

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Filed under: Animals • Japan • Russia • U.S.
soundoff (1,588 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Bringing back mammoths would be a great way to raise funds for research- I'm sure some rich Texas SOB's would pay big bucks to blowaway a mammoth and mount it's head in their den...lol

    January 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. youwanttokno

    Instead of the Mammoth, Why don't they clone the cave-man?

    January 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      The Texans could shoot him too!

      January 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      ROFL Bob...I would pay to watch that!

      January 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Done with Stupidity

      Cloning mammoths will be cool, however we don't need to clone cave men because these idiots still exist and if you want to see them just spend a day watching CSPAN.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOHN

      Because we still have cave-me; we just call 'em rednecks now.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Moronic Park

    Will Sarah Palin use a helicopter and a semi-automatic to hunt down these mammoths... YOU BETCHA!!

    January 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • youwanttokno

      That would give us civilians some room to breath and survive without shooting / be shot.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    I'm a clone.

    January 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ken

    They died off becase their farts were really mammoth, more global warming!

    January 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. David in Tennessee

    Some of you believe that if God wanted the mammoths to live he would not have made them extinct. If that's what you believe, fine! But maybe you should consider the fact that maybe your God wanted us to recreate it by giving us the technology to do so.

    January 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. David in Tennessee

    Maybe they can also clone the New England Patriots, they seem to be dead and gone.

    January 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Hungry in FL

    Can't wait til they have the grilled Wooly Mammoth segment on Food network!! Alton Boyd would be perfect!

    January 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. outawork

    Maybe they should try for at least 2 mammoths.

    January 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mike

    That's awesome!!!

    January 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. nepawoods

    Humans once ate these things, why not again? And they might make really nice fur coats.

    January 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Sutler

    Glaring questions once the Mammoth is cloned:

    1. China limits families to having 1 child and even 1 dog. Will they limit Mammoths to one per village?
    2. Which country will be the first to adopt the Mammoth as the national animal?
    3. When will Mammoth racing be legalized?
    4. Will Al Gore claim to have been the inventor of the Mammoth?

    January 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. KB

    If global warming is a concern, why bring back an extreme cold weather climate animal? It will be a full time job keeping the poor thing shaved so it doesn't have a heat stroke, let alone finding the massive amounts of food needed daily to sustain it. Bet they won't think about that until it has arrived.

    January 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aarrgghh

      Cold Weather and humans are what killed this animal off Ricki Retardo

      January 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rob in Minnesota

    I can't wait...this has been a childhood dream of mine. Bring it on!!! I like the idea about the saber tooth tiger next! How about some gargantuane buffalos as well. Thanks!

    January 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jimmy Dean

    This is so terminally retarded. It's a known fact that mammoths are closer in relation to Asian elephants than they are to African elephants.

    January 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sutler

      Ever see a pygmy elephant try to give birth to a wooly mammoth? Its not a pretty site.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • King Arthur

      Bridgekeeper: What... is your name?
      Jimmy Dean: It is 'Jimmy Dean', King of the sausage.
      Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
      Jimmy Dean: To seek the meaning of Life.
      Bridgekeeper: What... is the ground-speed velocity of an unladen mammoth?
      Jimmy Dean: What do you mean? An African or European mammoth?
      Bridgekeeper: Huh? I– I don't know that! Auuuuuuuugh!

      January 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
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