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Putin curious about possible mammoth cloning

September 01, 2014, 20:19 UTC+3 YAKUTSK
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited a museum of paleontology at the Yakutsk-based North-Eastern Federal University on Monday
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/JONAS GUETTLER/Archive

YAKUTSK, September 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who visited a museum of paleontology at the Yakutsk-based North-Eastern Federal University on Monday, asked whether it was possible to clone a 28,000-year-old fossil mammoth recently found in Russia’s Siberian republic of Yakutia.

The University’s Lazarev Museum of Paleontology boasts a wide exposition of unique fossil animals found in the recent decades. The Russian president was shown about the exhibition, which included a well-preserved carcass of an extinct woolly mammoth discovered on the Siberian Bolshoi Lakhovsky Island, the Novosibirsk archipelago. Fragments of muscle tissues researchers found out of the body of a female mammoth had a natural red color of fresh meat. More to it, researchers were able to collects samples of liquid blood from it.

Putin was curious whether these flesh fragments and blood samples could be used to clone the animal. “Soft tissues are well-reserved. Does it mean that the animal can be cloned?” he asked museum attendants. They told the president that close cooperation had been established on this matter with South Korean researchers.

Students of the North-Eastern University informed the president about the first results of histological examination of the mammoth’s soft tissues. Researchers managed to retreat an intact blood vessel with liquid blood. Apart from that, researchers found white blood cells and brown adipose tissues. The latter is evidence that the animal was adapted to low air temperatures - such cells help animals keep their bodies warm.

More to it, researchers found intact DNAs in the mammoth cells. Blood samples are kept in a cryoreservoir at a temperature of 17 degrees below zero.

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