Asian scientists still believe they may be able to resurrect the long-extinct woolly mammoth, but don’t expect to see the Ice Age behemoths at your local zoo any time soon.
A team of Russian and South Korean researchers said they had discovered mammoth tissue fragments buried under meters of permafrost in eastern Siberia that could contain living cells.
“The existence of the cells – perhaps too few to achieve successful cloning, and treated with skepticism by many stem cell scientists – must still be confirmed by a South Korean lab,” according to Agence-France Presse.
But expedition member Sergei Fyodorov of Russia’s Northeastern Federal University said the discovery in the far north of the vast Yakutia region of eastern Siberia could lead to actual woolly mammoth cloning attempts.
“We discovered the mammoth tissue fragments in eastern Siberia in early August,” Fyodorov told the wire service.
“It seems that some of the cells still have a living nucleus. We saw that with portable microscopes on the spot – the cells appeared in color,” he said.