How fast does a woolly mammoth run

Researchers bring cells from a 28,000-year-old mammoth to life

Mammoth cells brought to life

The woolly mammoth "Yuka" was discovered in 2012 in the Siberian permafrost soil.

Image: Keystone

What was sensational about the find was that the young animal has been preserved so well.

Image: Keystone

The research team, which now reactivated “Yukas” cells, used the cell nucleus transfer technique and implanted part of the mammoth DNA into the egg cells of a mouse.

Image: Keystone

Cloned mammoths will not roam the earth that quickly, however: the technology has not yet been developed sufficiently for that.

Image: Keystone

One day, however, researchers hope to clone at least one elephant-mammoth hybrid.

Image: Keystone

Mammoth cells brought to life

The woolly mammoth "Yuka" was discovered in 2012 in the Siberian permafrost soil.

Image: Keystone

What was sensational about the find was that the young animal has been preserved so well.

Image: Keystone

The research team, which now reactivated “Yukas” cells, used the nucleus transfer technique and implanted part of the mammoth DNA into the egg cells of a mouse.

Image: Keystone

Cloned mammoths will not roam the earth that quickly, however: the technology has not yet been developed sufficiently for that.

Image: Keystone

One day, however, researchers hope to clone at least one elephant-mammoth hybrid.

Image: Keystone

"Yuka" lay in the eternal ice of Siberia for 28,000 years. Now the woolly mammoth is celebrating its resurrection: A Russian-Japanese research team has succeeded in reviving the cells of the prehistoric animal.

"I had hoped for it for 20 years," says Akira Iritani happily in the science blog "Big Think" about the breakthrough. After years of trying, the Japanese researcher and his team managed to reactivate the cells of a woolly mammoth. The well-preserved carcass of the animal was discovered in Siberia in 2012. There the baby mammoth, christened “Yuka”, had lain well preserved in the permafrost for 28,000 years.



In a study published on Monday in Scientific Reports, the researchers explain the process of their work. According to this, they removed core-like structures from the mammoth's muscle tissue and implanted them into the egg cells of a mouse by means of cell nucleus transfer.

There, the mammoth cells showed clear biological activities, as Iritani reports. However, the mammoths, which became extinct 4,000 years ago, will not be cloned anytime soon. Neither the quality of the DNA samples nor the cell activity in the experiment was sufficient for this. At least the scientists observed a preliminary process of cell division in the prehistoric cells brought to life.

The study represents a "significant step in bringing mammoths back from the dead," said Kei Miyamoto, one of the authors, of the Japanese news agency Nikkei. "We want to expand our study until we have reached cell division," he outlined future goals, but added that there was "still a long way to go."