Yuka the mammoth might not be roaring back to life any time soon but scientists have sparked the first inklings of life the creatures has seen in c
Yuka the mammoth might not be roaring back to life any time soon but scientists have sparked the first inklings of life the creatures has seen in centuries. An international team of researchers in Japan have miraculously coaxed activity into the mammoth’s cells in a groundbreaking study. The study, at Kindai University in Japan, sparked biological reactions in five mammoth cells transplanted into mouse cells. Unfortunately, the cell division necessary to clone the mammoth did not occur but researchers are positive cellular activity continues after death.
Kei Miyamoto of Kindai University told AFP: “This suggests that, despite the years that have passed, cell activity can still happen and parts of it can be recreated.
“Until now, many studies have focused on analysing DNA and not whether they still function.”
The researchers attempted to breathe life into the cells in a fashion reminiscent of the scientists in the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park.
By translating seemingly intact mammoth cells into the nuclei of unfertilised eggs cells the biologists tried to gouge their reaction.
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In the experiment, nucleus-like structures were extracted from bone marrow and muscle tissue samples from the well-preserved mammoth.
The scientists recovered 88 of these nuclei structure in total from an approximate 273.5 milligrams of mammoth tissue.
However, only five samples ultimately showed signs of pre-cell division activity and none went far enough for actual division.
Cellular division would have been the crucial element of the puzzle needed to one day recreate a woolly mammoth.
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Ultimately the cell damage sustained over 28,000 years of frozen stasis proved too much for nature to overcome.
And yet the scientists remained positive their study can lay the groundwork for future developments and technology to successfully recreate life after death.
Mr Miyamoto argued “significant steps” have been made toward bringing mammoths “back from the dead”.
He said: “Once we obtain cell nuclei that are kept in better condition, we can expect to advance the research to the stage of cell division.”
An in their study, published in Scientific Reports, the researchers wrote: “This approach, taking advantage of oocyte machinery, may provide the possibility that further nuclear functions, that is, DNA replication and transcription, can be induced to extinct mammoth nuclei and promote the embryo development with lesser-damaged nuclei.
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“The induction of the DNA repair in mouse oocytes can be another way to promote development.
“In conclusion, although the results presented here clearly show us again the de facto impossibility to clone the mammoth by current NT technology, our approach paves the way for evaluating the biological activities of nuclei in extinct animal species.”
The biggest takeaway for the scientists is the revelation cells can remain, at least partially, sustained over incredibly long periods of time.
Yuka the mammoth is the most well-preserved carcass of the extinct woolly mammoth found in the Siberian region of the Laptev Sea, Russia.