Researchers from South Korea and Russia hope to clone an ancient foal found preserved in Siberia, Russian media reports. The foal was recently discovered in Siberia by residents who spotted the remains in melting permafrost. Work is currently underway to harvest living cells from the remains — if any can be found — potentially paving the way for future woolly mammoth cloning.
The information comes from The Siberian Times, which initially reported on the horse remains discovery. According to the report, researchers from Russia and South Korea are working together on a cloning project that would involve using a surrogate to carry and birth the cloned horse.
Assuming the project is successfully completed, the birth would mark the return of a horse species that has been extinct for thousands of years, stoking hope that a woolly mammoth could one day also be cloned. The entire mission depends on scientists finding a live cell in the approximately 40,000-year-old remains.
The degree of preservation makes the project viable. As initially reported, the Siberian permafrost preserved the horse’s remains in incredible detail — hooves, hair, internal organs and more remain, offering an unprecedented look at a foal from this extinct horse species.
Talk of cloning an extinct woolly mammoth has been around for years, but the project isn’t an immediate reality. The process won’t be simple, but bringing back an extinct horse species could be a viable stepping stone toward that eventual goal. Researchers point out that in terms of evolution, the extinct horse isn’t terribly different from its modern relatives.
SOURCE: The Siberian Times