Wishing that Jurassic Park actually existed – minus the escaping of the prehistoric dinos? Russian scientists are planning to begin the cloning process of prehistoric animals from the Siberian permafrost.
Such animals include a 40,000 year old woolly mammoth, which scientists are examining with the hope in discovering undamaged DNA samples to resurrect the ancient species.
Scientists at the Mammoth Museum of the Institute of Applied Ecology at the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk have begun searching through their sample archives for one that might be perfectly preserved.
The plan is to extract live DNA from one or more of the 2,000 rare exhibits contained in the lab, which is especially equipped to preserve tissue samples in freezers of -87 degrees Celsius. The lab has also been equipped with the possibility of quickly scanning any new tissue samples, without damaging them in the transportation process.
If clones of the prehistoric animals can be crafted, the plan is to create a real-life “Jurassic Park” otherwise, scientifically, called a “Pleistocene Park.” The park would be full of extinct animals living in a specially designed nature reserve located on the Kolyma River in Yakutia.
Scientists want to re-create the similar environmental conditions of pre-ice age, including the grasslands, before the extinct animals are resurrected. The scientists are also looking for DNA of a woolly rhinoceros, early ancestors of bison and bulls, cave bears and cave lions.
Russian scientists aren’t the only ones in the world seeking to clone prehistoric animals. Researchers at Harvard and the University of Chicago plan clones, but have been held back by the quality of their mammoth DNA.
If DNA worthy of cloning can be found, scientists intend to artificially inseminate it with an Asian or Indian elephant to give birth to its historic predecessor.