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Metal Mammoth

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In May 2007, the carcass of a one-month-old female woolly mammoth calf was discovered in a layer of permafrost near the Yuribei River in Russia, where it had been buried for approximately 10,000 years. Alexei Tikhonov, the Russian Academy of Science's Zoological Institute's deputy director, has dismissed the prospect of cloning the animal, as the whole cells required for cloning would have burst under the freezing conditions. Nonetheless, DNA is expected to be well-enough preserved to be useful for research on mammoth phylogeny and perhaps physiology. However, Dr. Sayaka Wakayama from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, believes that a technique she has used to clone mice from specimens frozen for sixteen years could be used successfully on recovered mammoth tissue: she cites that in her experiments the dead mice had been frozen to -20°C under simulated natural conditions, without using the usual preservative chemicals. ~wiki~

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