An article in Physorg.com this week reported that a team of scientists from Japan and Russia believe that they may be able to produce a living woolly mammoth within the next five years by a cloning process. Key to their research will be finding an intact nucleus from a woolly mammoth, a species that has been extinct for 10,000 years.
They might be in luck. In August, a well-preserved thigh bone was found frozen in permafrost in Siberia. The researchers are pinning their hopes on finding cells with intact nuclei in the bone marrow.
Their plan is to transplant a cell nucleus from that mammoth's thigh bone into the egg of an elephant from which the nucleus has been removed. The egg would then be implanted into the uterus of an elephant. If the technique works, a baby mammoth would result. Except for the source of the donor nucleus, this cloning process would be identical to that used to create cloned sheep and other animals.