Scientists from Japan believe that they’ve taken steps toward bringing the woolly mammoth, which has been extinct for an extended time, back to existence. The researchers of Kindai University in Osaka have discovered genetic material that they believe will assist in bringing back the mammoth around 4000 years after the last time they lived on the planet. By using the living nucleus from the mammoth’s cell and inserting it into a cell with a non-living nucleus from their closest relative, it could be possible that we can see the Mammoth once again!
The woolly mammoth was an extinct mammal species with trunks similar to modern-day elephants. The origins of mammoths trace to Africa and later spread across Europe, Asia, and North America. They disappeared, possibly due to the effects of climate change, overhunting, illness, or all of three. The last one of the species lived about 4000 years ago on an island within the Arctic Circle. The remains of many of these creatures have been discovered preserved in permafrost in the Tundra located in Siberia.
The remains of a mammoth (named Yuka), a female, was the body that was almost completely intact in Siberia in the year 2010. The scientists determined her age to be about seven years old, and she stands up to 3.5 meters tall. Fortunately, the specimen is still in good condition.
The woolly mammal made it possible for researchers worldwide to seek out genetic material. The team was headed by Akira Iritani, an emeritus professor at Kindai University, who was trying to remove living tissues from the specimen. According to the Telegraph, the team successfully extracted the bone-marrow and muscle tissue from its feet. The Independent reports that about 88 nucleus cells from muscle samples have been extracted and neatly preserved. The researchers verified that the cells are those of the mammal with a trunk by applying the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) technique.
The researchers have shown great excitement after successfully removing the cells. Researchers injected the gene material into mouse eggs since it could aid the nuclei in growing and dividing.
Researchers later discovered with high excitement the evidence in the biological process. They revealed that there were clear signs of cell division. The Japanese team believes they have taken the initial steps to bring the extinct species back to life. But, they’ve warned that there remains a need for further research and more methods, and the results cannot be assumed to be a given.
Reviving the mammoth requires cells to multiply and divide; the team could not accomplish this feat. If they can multiply cells, this would allow researchers to begin cloning genetic material from those who were Ice Age giants. It’s theoretically possible and could enable them to revive an animal species that were extinct around four millennia back.
A Scientific Race To Revive And Clone Woolly Mammoth
The Japanese team isn’t the only one in its efforts to bring back the long-dead species, and at present, there is an ongoing scientific race to revive the woolly mammoth living. There are also efforts to clone the genetic material of the mammoth in Europe, America, and South Korea as well. They are using gene-editing techniques to revive this species. But, it could be some time before the world sees the return of the species, and it isn’t feasible.