Japanese and Russian boffins are planning to impregnate an elephant with a mammoth embryo cloned from viable fossil DNA discovered frozen beneath the icy Siberian tundra, according to reports.
AFP reports that a joint team of boffins from Japan and Russia discovered mammoth DNA - which they consider to be in good enough condition to create a clone animal - in ancient marrow taken from a thighbone found in permafrost soil in Siberia.
The scientists reportedly plan to replace the nuclei of elephant cells with those taken from the mammoth marrowbone, and then place the resulting embryos in the womb of a female elephant. Elephants and mammoths being close relatives, this should (or could, anyway) apparently result in the return of the woolly mammoth to planet Earth after an absence of around 10,000 years.
There was no confirmation on the location where the mammoth breeding programme will take place, though tradition would surely call for an offshore island. ®