(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
The Ice Age may have been thousands of years ago, but if scientists have their way, there might be wooly mammoths walking around soon.
Scientists discovered woolly mammoth remains that included hair and bone marrow in eastern Siberia.
"In a unique area at the depth of about 100 meters we discovered some rich material for research - soft and adipose tissues, fur and bone marrow of a mammoth," Semyon Grigoryev, the chief of the Yana-2012 expedition, said in Yakutsk, Russia.
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The discovery reiterates the interest in possibly bringing the gargantuan mammal back to life.
A group of scientists from Yaktsuk have even expressed interest in cloning a baby wooly mammoth.
"All we need for cloning is one living cell, which means it can reproduce autonomously. Then it will be no problem for us to multiply them to tens of thousands cells," Semyon Grigoryev, a professor at North-East Federal University told the news agency Reuters.
Despite the enthusiasm, a member of the Russian team that discovered the wooly mammoths told Reuters that recreating woolly mammoths was an unlikely scenario. Woolly mammoths died out around 10,000 to 40,000 years ago, and despite the obvious scientific hurdles, scientists are excited about having living tissue from a long-extinct creature.
"We are counting on our region's permafrost to have kept some cells alive. But it is unlikely," said Grigoryev.
The well-preserved remains do offer some hope though. By studying the cellular structure, researchers can further explore the evolutionary tree of mammals as well as further understand the relationship between humans and their prey (humans hunted woolly mammoths much in the same way bison was important to the Native Americans).