28,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Cells Brought Back to Life by Scientists

In a groundbreaking scientific experiment, cells from a woolly mammoth that perished approximately 28,000 years ago have exhibited "signs of life."

Image source: Kindai University

Unearthed from the Siberian permafrost in 2011, the juvenile woolly mammoth made headlines due to its relatively intact state. Given that the species had been extinct for approximately 4,000 years, the discovery of a specimen dating back 28,000 years was particularly significant.

Subsequently, scientists have been keen to assess the viability of the biological materials from the unearthed mammoth after millennia. Now, researchers at Kindai University in Japan have discovered that its DNA remains partially intact. Apparently, they are well on their way to potentially resurrecting this colossal prehistoric mammal.

Should they succeed, the outcome might resemble this (initially).

Model depicting mammoth calf, Stuttgart. Image source: Apotea

Ultimately, the key lies in the achievement of the university scientists who have successfully isolated nuclei from the mammoth's cells and implanted them into mouse oocytes—cells located in ovaries capable of developing into an egg cell following genetic division.

After that, the cells from the 28,000-year-old specimen started to show “signs of biological activities.”

A time-lapse of mouse oocyte cells injected with mammoth nuclei. Kindai University/Scientific Reports

“This suggests that, despite the years that have passed, cell activity can still happen and parts of it can be recreated,” said study author Kei Miyamoto from the Department of Genetic Engineering at Kindai University.

Remarkably, five of the cells exhibited highly unexpected and remarkably promising outcomes, displaying signs of activity typically observed just before cell division.

Frozen mammoth calf “Lyuba” – it still had food in its stomach, Royal BC Museum. Image source: Ruth Hartnup

Determining the functionality of the mammoth DNA proved to be a challenging endeavor. Researchers initiated the process by extracting bone marrow and muscle tissue samples from the mammoth's leg. Subsequently, these samples underwent analysis to identify intact nucleus-like structures, which were then carefully extracted.

After merging these nuclei cells with mouse oocytes and introducing mouse proteins, it became evident that certain mammoth cells could undergo nuclear reconstitution proficiently. This crucially indicated that even mammoth remains dating back 28,000 years might contain active nuclei.

In essence, this suggests that the resurrection of a specimen such as this one could indeed be within reach.

Royal Victoria Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2018

Miyamoto acknowledges that "recreating a mammoth is still a long way off," but numerous researchers engaged in gene editing pursuits remain optimistic that such a feat is within reach. Recent endeavors, employing the controversial CRISPR gene editing tool, are arguably the most promising developments to date.

But do we really need to resurrect a species that went extint a long time ago?


1. https://trendings.net/scientists-bring-28000-year-old-woolly-mammoth-cells-back-to-life-in-a-groundbreaking-scientific-experiment/f8w3e2g

2. https://allthatsinteresting.com/reanimated-woolly-mammoth-cells

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolly_mammoth

0/Post a Comment/Comments