Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

Mammoths may roam again after 27,000 years

Mammoth (Evolution Research)

The Times (UK): Bodies of extinct Ice Age mammals, such as woolly mammoths, that have been frozen in permafrost for thousands of years may contain viable sperm that could be used to bring them back from the dead, scientists said yesterday.

Research has indicated that mammalian sperm can survive being frozen for much longer than was previously thought, suggesting that it could potentially be recovered from species that have died out.

Several well-preserved mammoth carcasses have been found in the permafrost of Siberia, and scientists estimate that there could be millions more..

..With access to the mammoth's genetic code, and with frozen sperm recovered from testes, it may be possible to resurrect an animal that is very similar to a mammoth.

The above news report refers to the PNAS paper "Spermatozoa and spermatids retrieved from frozen reproductive organs or frozen whole bodies of male mice can produce normal offspring" which is open access: Abstract | Full Text (pdf)

Alternative news report from the Chicago Sun-Times

A related item from the journal Nature (published yesterday): Deep-freeze mice become dads

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