- uploaded: Dec 10, 2011
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In the next few years zoos may be rolling out the red carpet for a new member: the woolly mammoth. Russian and Japanese scientists will begin to experiment the process of taking the woolly mammoth out of extinction, the BBC reported. The scientists claim that a thigh bone found in August contains well-preserved marrow cells, which could be the jumping off point for the experiment. Woolly mammoths looked like the Chewbacca of elephants-- enormous, with tusks and covered in tons of hair. They lived during the Ice Age and were primarily found in North America and Eurasia. Scientists have been looking for undamaged marrow for years for woolly mammoths. Currently they are analyzing the marrow, extracted from the mammoth's femur, found in Siberian permafrost soil. Ideally, the next step would be for the scientists to extract a nucleus from the marrow of the thigh and insert it into the egg of an African elephant, NBC News reported. Then the scientists would implant the cloned embryos into the wombs of mama elephants for gestation. This is the same technique used to clone mammals such as Dolly the sheep, pigs, cats, dogs and monkeys. But many skeptics wonder if this can really be done. Cloning incidents have had mixed results. In 2009 a recently extinct Pyrenean ibex was brought back to life using 10-year-old DNA from animal's skin, the BBC reported. However its life was cut extremely short and the ibex died within minutes of its birth due to breathing difficulties. The Roslin ...