The world could see long-extinct creatures like woolly mammoths and cave lions come back to life because of a new cloning facility in Russia. The $5.8 million dollar facility is taking notes from the film “Jurassic Park” with the goal of restoring the animals through cloning research.
Russian scientists already have a working relationship with South Korean researchers, led by cloning expert Professor Hwang Woo-Suk. Together, they’re examining DNA they’ve found from the prehistoric animals, which has been preserved in frozen soil called permafrost for tens of thousands of years, and comparing it to the animals’ modern-day evolutions (like elephants). If successful, they could create a mammoth-elephant hybrid and release the species to Siberia’s Pleistocene Park, which that aims to replicate the prehistoric mammoths’ original habitat.
But bringing the creatures back to life isn’t their only goal, the research extends to other causes as well. “Such studies will help in the study of rare genetic disease, their diagnosis, prevention,” says Dr. Lena Grigorieva, who drafted the plans for the facility.