Cells taken from the well-preserved legs of a mammoth found last summer in Russia's far-northern Yakutia region are ''conditionally alive'', said Mr Vladimir Repin of the Vektor Research Centre for Virology and Biotechnology.
The inner structure of the cells, fixed in formalin immediately after the finding, is undamaged, ''so we suggest that the rest of the frozen tissues contain similar cell layers which could be unfrozen'', he explained, as quoted by the Informscience news agency.
He said that the living cells with intact nuclei found in the subcutaneous cellular tissue could prove to be good for cloning purposes. ''The cell material is unique because it contains not just intact mammoth DNA but whole cells which have been perfectly preserved for 10,000 years,'' the Vektor press service said. The number of cells suitable for cloning was sufficient to enable the cloning experiment to be attempted more than once, it said.
[...] Eventually, he believes the resurrected mammoths could be released into a sanctuary in an uninhabited area in the north of the remote, frozen Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's far east, where present conditions resemble their original habitat.
New breath of life for extinct mammoths
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