Periodically, we hear about scientists in Russia or Korea or Japan promising to bring the mammoth back from extinction with the magic of modern genetic technology. They’re always saying “We’re almost there… we just need a few more eyes of newt and we should be able to do it at some point.” Just get on with it already! But now, scientists from Russia and South Korea have a deal in writing saying it will happen.
For years and years, scientists have been trying to realize the Jurassic Park dream of bringing extinct animals back to life. The problem is that even with seemingly well preserved bodies, such as those of frozen woolly mammoths, that the cell damage is too complete to be able to extract any intact DNA. But a new method pioneered in 2008 may be the key to finally being able to grab usable genetic material for cloning.