Genome Study Brings Woolly Mammoth DNA Back From the Dead / Sputnik International

From | July 4th, 2015

A group of woolly mammoths, the huge Ice Age mammals that lived and roamed the frigid tundra steppes of northern Asia, Europe and North America, are seen in this undated illustration provided courtesty of Giant Screen Films.

A study found the genetic adaptations which allowed woolly mammoths to endure severe Arctic conditions, raising the prospect that the animals could one day be resurrected.

A study which sequenced and compared the DNA of Asian elephants and woolly mammoths has identified the traits that allowed the extinct species to survive extreme temperatures, a finding which also raises the prospect that the genetic information could one day be used to bring the species back to life through cloning.

“This is by far the most comprehensive study to look at the genetic changes that make a woolly mammoth a woolly mammoth,” said Vincent Lynch, assistant professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago, and one of the authors of the study, called “Elephantid genomes reveal the molecular bases of Woolly Mammoth adaptations to the arctic.” 

“They are an excellent model to understand how morphological evolution works, because mammoths are so closely related to living elephants, which have none of the traits they had.”

According to the findings, published on Thursday in the journal ‘Cell Reports,’ the mammoth DNA had some 1.4 million genetic variants which enabled them to survive in cold environments, linked to skin and hair development, fat metabolism, temperature sensation and circadian clock biology.

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Source: Genome Study Brings Woolly Mammoth DNA Back From the Dead / Sputnik International

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