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. soft love

    Good idea! but before you make such things, see if it is not harmful for the environment and the peaople!! 🙂

    October 19, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • lol?

      wats a 'peaople'?

      December 13, 2011 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Blake Slicer

    I like this idea. I want a pet mammoth. I would ride it to school.

    November 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake Beauchesne

      Blake. That is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Grow up.

      November 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katey B.

      hahhaha blake! I like this idea... it could help to make babies with the best qualities from different people.............

      November 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay Leno


      November 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      He's just kidding guys:)

      December 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cordell

    Great idea hope it works!!!!

    November 4, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      it won't work

      November 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BEZT


    November 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • cordell(mod)

      Please don't spam

      December 15, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • MakesMeLaugh

      You're "look at me I'm being a fool" key is sticking.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Keith

    riding a mammoth to school wouldn't work because some citizens who see it will call the national guard and your mammoth will be killed

    November 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amber Dennison

      And having one of these to go to school on would be very dangerous in many cases like it could break through a storm drain. Yes it would be could. But you have to think of the animal's safety aswell.

      November 17, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Paul Cassano (Blake Slicer)

    My dad works there and he says that I will get one for my 20th birthday... SOOOOOOOOOOOOO...... Unlucky for you Mr. Slicer.

    November 9, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. karen

    hey blake i think your hot we should go out call the number 1-207-685-2374

    November 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Amber Dennison

    This would be a great opportunity to research what we can do with science. It will bring on new advances and maybe even a new era. People could more than likely find new jobs working with this mammoth. Who knows what this break through could bring.

    November 17, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bill

    I thought Mammoths were more closely related to the Indian Elephant, so why implant into an African Elephant?

    November 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jools

      Prob cos they're bigger

      December 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ok

    becarful wut u guys created ..

    December 8, 2011 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. ok

    becarful wut u guys created..

    December 8, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. cordell

    Insane who knows what damage that could cause?

    December 15, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. cordell(mod)

    stop spamming

    December 15, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Payman

    It is a dumb idea. So fed up wth science of today, regeneration of death extinct species. I have seen mammoth ofn pictures and I am fine with it. There should laws prohibiting these worthless dummies hanging out and sampling cellular tissues in frozen climate. They might bring back viruses for which there is no cures who might have been the reason behind extinction.

    If they want to call themselves scientists go back to your labs and find a cure for cancer, autism and all other diseases that are out there unsolved. Playing Mammoth so just you can remember your mother is not going to bring her back.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Barbara

    My main question is WHY? Where would it live? What would it eat. Is this "Just" so we say we can do it? Sorry, not a fan. Reproduce plants, fine. Animals – maybe. But not something as large as a mammoth.

    February 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
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