Over time, ancient species are found to carry priceless information about the genetic basis of adaptive evolution and factors relating to extinction.
One of such invaluable data has been found in a 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth.
In 2011, scientists found and dug a nearly-preserved woolly mammoth out of the Siberian permafrost.
These scientists were astonished to have found the remains of a species that became extinct 4000 years ago. This was a groundbreaking discovery because the Woolly Mammoth was 28,000 years old.
Since this profound discovery, scientists have been eager to learn how viable the cells are and how feasible it is for the biological materials to live and develop.
A study published in Scientific Reports revealed that scientists had made substantial and commendable progress in their attempts to ascertain the viability of mammoth cells.
Fox News revealed that cells from the 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth specimen had shown traces of biological activities after implanting it into the egg cells of a mouse.
This discovery showed the existence of the mammoth’s cells despite its extinction several years ago.
According to Kei Miyamoto, the lead author who works in the Department of Genetic Engineering at Kindai University
“This discovery suggests that despite the years that have passed, cell activity can still happen, and parts of it can be recreated. Until now, many studies have focused on analyzing fossil DNA and not whether they still function.”
The researchers involved in the experiment extracted the muscle tissue and bone marrow of the mammoth’s remains and inserted the least damaged structures into the living mouse oocytes.
Bone marrow and muscle tissue were also extracted from the animal’s leg, and the tissues were analyzed to check for nucleus-like structures that are still in perfect condition, and these undamaged tissues extracted for further research.
According to experts, these intact nuclei cells were combined with mouse oocytes, after which mouse proteins were added.
The result of this experiment revealed that the mammoth cells are perfectly capable of performing nuclear reconstitution.
Researchers have since suggested that there is a higher chance that the mammoth remains contain active nuclei as the nuclei were able to develop cellular structures that are a precedence to cell division.
While some of the cells have revealed signs of activity that precedes cell division, the study still maintains that researchers have more work to do.
The abstract revealed, “In the reconstructed oocytes, the mammoth nuclei showed the spindle assembly, histone incorporation, and partial nuclear formation; however, the full activation of nuclei for cleavage was not confirmed.”