Jurassic Spark: Scientists in Japan Revive 28,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Cells

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 - 9:45AM
Science News
Genetic Engineering
Wednesday, 13 March 2019 - 9:45AM
Jurassic Spark: Scientists in Japan Revive 28,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Cells
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Composite adapted from Pixabay images
Scientists in Osaka, Japan have succeeded in prodding cells from a 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth into showing signs of "limited biological activity," with samples showing the biological reactions that precede cell division once implanted into mouse egg cells.The mammoth, nicknamed "Yuka," was discovered in Siberia's permafrost in 2010. Although their research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, did not find that the cells were fully activated, their successes left them optimistic for future efforts in evaluating the "biological activities of nuclei in extinct animal species."


In an interview with AFP, team member Kei Miyamoto of Kindai University noted that despite the fact that they had yet to see cell division, their research "suggests that, despite the years that have passed, cell activity can still happen and parts of it can be recreated." Miyamoto was cautious, however, in exciting any Jurassic Park fans hoping to visit a live mammoth in the near future. "We have also learned that damage to cells was very profound," Miyamoto added.


Opening quote
We are yet to see even cell divisions. I have to say we are very far from recreating a mammoth.
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Nevertheless, Miyamoto told the Nikkei Asian Review, the Kindai University research represented a "significant step toward bringing mammoths back from the dead."


Miyamoto and his team are not the first to explore the potential hidden in cryonically preserved mammoths. As of 2018, Harvard University scientist George Church was hard at work with the Harvard Woolly Mammoth Revival Team to create elephant/mammoth hybrids in an effort to undo some of the ecological damage done by humans, while in 2014, a team of South Korean researchers were collecting DNA samples from a 40,000-year-old mammoth also discovered in Siberia's permafrost. 







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