South Koreans Kick Off Efforts to Clone Extinct Siberian Cave Lions

By: The Siberian Times reporter

Samples taken from cubs frozen in permafrost for at least 12,000 years.

Two infant prehistoric big cats – dating from Pleistocene times – were found in a ‘sensational’ discovery last year, as disclosed by The Siberian Times . The cubs were dug from their icy grave ‘complete with all their body parts: fur, ears, soft tissue and even whiskers’, said Dr. Albert Protopopov, head of the mammoth fauna studies department of the Yakutian Academy of Sciences.

Now cloning expert Hwang Woo-suk, a South Korean scientist who is already pioneering research work to bring the extinct woolly mammoth back to life, is in Yakutsk to obtain samples of one of the cave lion cubs. These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature “Dina’s” remains.

These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature Dina's remains.

These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature Dina's remains.

These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature Dina's remains.

These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature Dina’s remains. Pictures: Galina Mozolevskaya/YSIA

Dr. Protopopov said: ‘Together with the Mammoth Museum, we took samples for cell research.’ The museum’s experts will study these for the presence of living cells suitable for cloning.

Hwang came to Yakutsk – capital of the Sakha Republic – specifically for this purpose. But there was dispute between the Siberian and Korean scientists over the size of the sample.

The Korean professor wanted a large section, such as part of the skull or a leg but this was opposed by the local experts who are anyway withholding one of the cubs from any research – the better preserved of the pair, called Uyan – confident that more advanced techniques in future years will ensure more is gleaned from it than if research is done now.

read the full story at:Ancient Origins

 

 

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