Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I've always wanted a mammoth ...

... and now it appears that I might be able to get one!
Scientists at the government-backed research institute Riken used the dead cell of a mouse that had been preserved at minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit) -- a temperature similar to frozen ground.

The scientists hope that the first-of-a-kind research will pave the way to restore extinct animals such as the mammoth.
Why is this so exciting? The dead cell was not cryopreserved. Rather, it was simply frozen, as in, stuck in a plastic bag and stuffed into the back of a freezer for 16 years. No extraordinary efforts taken to preserve the cells of the dead mouse.

Therefore, scientists could potentially use cells from animals frozen in permafrost for centuries and "revive" them. Hello wooly mammoth! Here is a link to the PNAS abstract. The ability to gain access to the PDF can be found there as well.


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