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Scientists Hope to Clone Extinct Wooly Mammoth

Really?  And we thought the book and movie Jurassic Park were just science fiction.

Scientists in Russia and Korea say they believe they can clone a prehistoric creature that became extinct at least ten thousand years ago. And they’ve signed an agreement to try.

via flickr/Hawkoffire

The deal was signed by Vasily Vasiliev of North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic and stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-Suk of South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation.

The team will work with thawed remains of an extinct mammoth recovered from Siberia’s permafrost after an unusually warm spring thaw.

They say the mammoth’s tissues will be cloned using eggs taken from a modern Indian elephant.  Once the tissues have undergone a nuclear transfer process, the eggs will be implanted into the womb of a live elephant.

It’s worth noting that Professor Hwang’s reputation and standing in the international scientific community were seriously damaged in 2005 when it was learned that he had faked a breakthrough in human cloning research involving embryonic stem cells.

Hwang is, however, credited with creating the world’s first cloned dog in 2005, an achievement which has been independently confirmed.  Also, Hwang and his team unveiled eight cloned coyotes in October of last year.

The Sooam Biotech Research Foundation specializes in dog cloning, and claims “cloning technology is possible for any dog no matter its age, size, and breed.  Sooam says it not only performs dog cloning research.  It also heals broken hearts.

via Woolly Mammoth Clone? Russian And South Korean Scientists Sign Deal To Bring Extinct Beast Back To Life.

This will be interesting to follow.  If they succeed in cloning an extinct animal back into existence, you know they will try it again with another species. And what will they do with these creatures if they survive birth?  Will they try to clone living or even deceased people?

Someone needs to ask where this kind of genetic manipulation is taking us?  The late Michael Crichton asked that very question in his novel Jurassic Park, but nobody liked the answer.

Once again, “Science Fiction” proves to be “Science Prophecy.”

Flickr user stockerre
Flickr user stockerre
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