Sir Ian Wilmut – the pioneering scientist whose team unveiled Dolly as the world’s first cloned mammal in 1996 – has outlined how to help bring extinct woolly mammoths back to life.
Wilmut said in an article that it is unlikely that the extinct mammal could be cloned in the same way as Dolly, as much more modern techniques are needed to convert tissue cells into stem cells to achieve the feat.
He told the Guardian that scores of healthy mammoth cells and hundreds or thousands of eggs from a closely related species like the Asian elephants are needed.
Another problem that he outlined is that mammoth cells must survive with their DNA intact. However, in practice, DNA gets degenerate quickly at the temperature of melting snow and ice, when most remains are found.