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Cloned mammoth possible in 4 years

world Updated: Jan 15, 2011 01:36 IST

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Following a breakthrough in cloning technology, scientists are now hoping to bring back to life within four years the woolly mammoths that have been extinct for over 5,000 years.

In their past attempts, the scientists have failed to recover nuclei in cells from the skin and muscle tissue from mammoths found in the Siberian permafrost because they had been too badly damaged by the extreme cold.

But a recent technique developed by Teruhiko Wakayama of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology was successful in cloning a mouse from the cells of another mouse that had been frozen for 16 years.

Following the success, Akira Iritani, a professor from Kyoto University in Japan, is now reactivating his campaign to resurrect the woolly mammoths that died out 5,000 years ago.

“Now the technical problems have been overcome, all we. need is a good sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth,” he told The Daily Telegraph.