At least three teams of geneticists are working on bringing those mammoths back, in South Korea, Japan, and at Harvard. Now the Russians have announced their own paleogenetics institute:
The 400 million rouble paleo-genetic scientific centre will aim to study extinct animals from living cells - and to restore such creatures as the woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, cave lion and breeds of long-gone horses.The Russians say they are actively cooperating with the Koreans I just mentioned, and expect a Korean investment in their institute.
The proposal will be presented by the Northern-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, which is already deeply involved in collaborative cloning work with scientists in South Korea.
Acting rector Evgenia Mikhailova plans a ‘world-class paleo-genetic scientific centre’ and support has been promised by the regional government of Sakha repubic, also known as Yakutia, say reports.
Vladimir Putin is a big promoter of these efforts. When he visits the labs he talks them up as examples of Russian high tech and his efforts to bring in Asian investment. But I bet he is secretly thrilled about having mammoths and cave bears in Russia again.
blogged back in 2011 about a Japanese effort that promised a cloned mammoth within five years. But our skill at molecular genetics keeps leapfrogging forward, and as I regularly tell my children I expect we will have living mammoths within their lifetimes.