Scientists are always trying to learn more about the kinds of lifeforms present on Earth millions of years.
Unfortunately, that means they mostly have just fossils to learn from.
Now, Japanese researchers may have made a significant leap towards changing that.
Researchers at the Kindai University in western Japan have just “awakened” cells from a woolly mammoth, from a sample approximately 28,000 years old.
They believes the breakthrough could help us better understand the long-extinct creature, as well as others in the time period and its ancestors.
Yuka is a preserved mammoth that was first discovered in Siberia’s permafrost nine years ago.
The team began by recovering cell nuclei from the creature’s remains, and then transplanting them into cells from mice and watching for biological activity.
Researchers observe biological activity after transplanting cell nuclei from Yuka the woolly mammoth (dead for 28,000 years) into mice oocytes. Whoa! Paper: https://t.co/3kVI5uiGso pic.twitter.com/D6x3TH84zq
— Steve Hurst (@hurst_sj) March 12, 2019
These nuclei were taken from the mammoth’s muscle tissue which had, thanks to the permafrost, remained preserved and uncontaminated for 28,000 years.
The team gathered 88 nucleus-like structures from the creature and then placed them into mouse oocytes.
These are the kind of cell that split to form an ovum.
“The mammoth nuclei showed the spindle assembly, histone incorporation and partial nuclear formation; however, the full activation of nuclei for cleavage was not confirmed,” the team wrote in their live study of the cells.
“We are yet to see even cell divisions.”
What that means is, that mammoth is still very very dead, and will stay that way.
However, the breakthrough could let us explore ways to resurrect it in future.
Yeah, we’re talking possible full Jurassic Park.
We’re incapable of doing it right now, but that doesn’t mean we will always be unable to.
With better cell harvesting and transferring technology, who knows?
Source: India Times