SEOUL, September 29. /TASS /. Scientists have made certain progress in the effort to bring woolly mammoth back from extinction, a senior South Korean researcher Hwang Woo-suk told TASS in an interview.
"In recent years, we have actively cooperated with Russian scientists from the Northeastern Federal University and Chinese colleagues from the Beijing Institute of Genomics," said Hwang, the head of the Korean Sooam Biotech Foundation. "We are optimistic and believe that our joint effort will bring wonderful fruit one day."
"I believe that we are making important steps - big and small, gradually approaching something incredible and unbelievable," he added.
Efforts to recreate the woolly mammoth using genetic material obtained from samples in permafrost have been conducted for quite a long time by scientists in Japan, Europe and the United States.
"We are also involved in this process and we work together with the Russian scientists to recreate the woolly mammoth," Hwang said.
Woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primignius) appeared more than 400,000 years ago during the middle Pleistocene, but are believed to become extinct between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago. In order to recreate the animal, scientists need to obtain an undamaged sample of its genome from remains buried in permafrost.
The Northeastern Federal University and Sooam Biotech signed an agreement on joint research in this area in 2012.