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Wednesday, 19th January 2011
In General Japan News,

Japanese scientists set to recreate mammoth

Scientists in Japan could create a woolly mammoth using a special cloning technique.

The researchers believe that they could bring the extinct species back to life within the next five years using tissue that has been preserved in a Russian laboratory.

It is expected that the technique will involve the insertion of mammoth cells into the egg cell of an elephant to eventually create an embryo consisting of mammoth genes.

"Preparations to realise this goal have been made," explained Dr Akira Iritani, leader of the team and a professor emeritus of Kyoto University, which has more than 22,000 students.

"If a cloned embryo can be created, we need to discuss, before transplanting it into the womb, how to breed (the mammoth) and whether to display it to the public."

The elephant is believes to be the nearest surviving animal to a mammoth after the species became extinct around 5,000 years ago.

Written by Mark Smith.