Coming soon to a zoo near you: Woolly mammoths!

A leading international expert in cloning will head up an experiment to recreate the extinct woolly mammoth.

A well-preserved thigh bone of a mammoth was discovered during a thaw in Siberia. Now scientists from South Korean and Russia will attempt to bring this beast back to Earth, according to physorg.com.

Cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-Suk of South Korea's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation will join Vasily Vasiliev, vice rector of North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic, in attempting to use stem cell technology to clone the animal.

 

Hwang is a controversial figure on the cloning scene after some of his research in cloning human stem cells was deemed fraudulent in 2006. However, he is famous for the world's first cloned dog, Snuppy, in 2005.

The mammoth cloning experiment will involve cells from an elephant, the closest living relative to the mammoth. The tricky part will be locating well-preserved tissue and undamaged genes within the remains.

"This will be a really tough job, but we believe it is possible because our institute is good at cloning animals," Hwang In-Sung said.

The woolly mammoth will join an impressive list of animals that have been cloned in South Korea including a cow, a cat, dogs, coyotes, a pig and a wolf.

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