A team of scientists from Russia, Japan and the United States plan to clone a wooly mammoth, according to a report in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun. This process involves extracting DNA from a mammoth carcass that has been preserved in a Russian laboratory, and inserting the DNA into the egg cells of an African elephant.
The team is being led by Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University in Japan. He has built upon research from Teruhiko Wakayama of Kobe's Riken Center for Developmental Biology, who successfully cloned a mouse using cells that had been frozen for 16 years. The purpose of this cloning is to examine the ecology and genes of the wooly mammoth and perhaps gain a new level of understanding about the long extinct species.