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Researchers makes breakthrough in resurrecting a wooly mammoth

Researchers makes breakthrough in resurrecting a wooly mammoth.

A team of researchers working at Harvard University has taken yet another step towards bringing to life a reasonable facsimile of a woolly mammoth, a large, hairy elephant-like beast that went extinct approximately 3,300 years ago.

The work by the team has not been published as yet, because as team lead George Church told The Sunday Times, recently, they believe they have more work to do before they write up their results.

Church is quick to point out that his team is not cloning the mammoth, instead they are rebuilding the genome of the ancient animal by studying its DNA, replicating it and then inserting the copy into the genome of an Asian elephant, the closest modern day equivalent.

elephant whooly mammoth

wooly mammoth (credit Wikipedia)

 

They are not bringing forth a new mammoth yet either—all of their work is confined to simple cells in their lab. What they have done, however, is build healthy living elephant cells with mammoth DNA in them.

Their work is yet another step towards that ultimate goal, realizing the birth of a wooly mammoth that is as faithful to the original as is humanly possible.

However, it is not yet clear when or if the team at Harvard has plans to produce an actual living mammoth, or if they will leave that to other teams working on similar projects.

 

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