London: Scientists are now looking forward to recreate a woolly mammoth, which walked on Earth 10,000 years ago.
Russian academics have signed a deal with a controversial Korean scientist to clone a woolly mammoth preserved in permafrost in Siberia.
Hwang Woo-Suk - who created the world’s first cloned dog, Snuppy, in 2005 – will implant the nucleus from a mammoth cell into an elephant egg to create a mammoth embryo.
The embryo will then be implanted into an elephant’s womb. The Koreans say research could begin this year.
Vasily Vasiliev, vice rector of North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic, signed the pact with Hwang Woo-Suk of South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation this week.
The agreement follows the discovery of mammoth bones with well-preserved bone marrow in Siberia last summer.
Hwang Woo-Suk is a controversial scientist some of whose research into human cloning was revealed to be fake.
But since then, his institute has successfully cloned other creatures like cows, dogs and coyotes.
“The first and hardest mission is to restore mammoth cells,” Sooam researcher, Hwang In-Sung, said.
“This will be a really tough job, but we believe it is possible because our institute is good at cloning animals,” In-Sung added.
The Korean biotech foundation asserted that the research would begin this year, as soon as the Russians ship the remains.
First Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 13:19