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Monday, January 17, 2011

Russian geneticists suggest breeding mammoths to fight crisis

Russian geneticists are working to resurrect the mammoth, the enormous cold-tolerant mammoth is an ideal animal for agricultural breeding, they say. "Our studies dedicated to decoding the mammoth's genome will soon allow us to resurrect this long extinct animal," Alexei Tikhonov, secretary for the National Mammoth Committee told MosNews reports.

"There are twoways to restore a species: the first one is cloning, but it requires a fully intact cell from the animal. When there is no cell left intact, but an animal can be recreated by decoding its genom," Tikhonov explained. According to researchers, by combining the genome of the mammoth and the Indian elephant, they will be able to create a transgenic animal.

Today, a mixed team of Russian and American scientists have almost completed decoding the mammoth's genetic identity.

"We already have the DNA from the hair of the famous Yukagir mammoth, found in Yakutia," Tikhonov said.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see a living mammoth in the very near future, although a lot depends on the funding, of course," he said.

In times of financial crisis, mammoth farms could be a real blessing, scientists say, as they would produce cheap meat, skins and precious mammoth ivory.

One average-sized mammoth of four or five tons would provide enough meat for a hundred people for a whole year.

Researchers also think the mammoth meat should have an excellent taste, as prehistoric people took pains to hunt the dangerous animals instead of opting for easier prey.

1 comment:

  1. why restore it just to kill it, that is a giant waste of money and resources.