It’s looking more and more likely that scientists will be able to resurrect some lost members of the animal kingdom through cloning. (Clone Extinct Animals.) is Mammoth Cloning possible? and what about Dinosaur Cloning? and what about mammoth cloning?
Disappointingly, dinosaurs would not be first on the list—more recently vanished species would offer the most viable DNA samples for reconstruction.
A Japanese team led by Akira Iritani, professor emeritus of Kyoto University, is hoping to deliver a real, live woolly mammoth within five or six years.
Mammoths are unusually good candidates for resurrection:
Although they’ve been extinct for thousands of years, their northerly habitat means that numerous mammoth bodies have been found entombed in ice. (Mammoth Cloning)
Although freezing damages DNA, Teruhiko Wakayama of the Riken Center for Developmental Biology has developed a technique for salvaging viable DNA from long-frozen mice.
The mammoth team has adapted this method to extract undamaged nuclei from mammoth egg cells.
There’s a lot of work still to do, however. The mammoth egg nuclei will need to be implanted in elephant egg cells, and the (hopefully) viable embryo that results would then need to be carried to term by an elephant mother—a process that may well present new problems, despite the strong genetic similarity between mammoths and elephants.
But with a little luck and a lot of scientist-hours, we may have our very own baby mammoth to study.
And from there, who knows? Pet dinosaurs could be closer than we think.
From the Book 100 Mysteries of Science Explained by Popular Science
Cloning is a natural form of reproduction that has allowed life forms to spread for hundreds of millions of years. It is the reproduction method used by plants, fungi, and bacteria, and is also the way that clonal coloniesreproduce themselves. Examples of these organisms include blueberry plants, hazel trees, the Pando trees, the Kentucky coffeetree, Myricas, and the American sweetgum.