A South Korean private bioengineering laboratory led by disgraced stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk said Monday it is stepping up efforts to make progress in cloning an extinct woolly mammoth.
To that end, the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation signed an agreement Sunday with Russia’s North-Eastern Federal University that gives the foundation the exclusive right to study the mammoth remains found in northwestern Siberia, according to lab officials.
Hwang Woo-suk (Yonhap News)
The agreement came six months after both parties reached a separate accord that allowed local researchers to use samples taken from mammoth remains found in the glaciers in the Sakha Federal Republic.
In August, researchers at the foundation went on a month-long excavation project to the Siberian region. They uncovered frozen and well-preserved remains of the extinct mammal and succeeded in retrieving soft tissue samples.
Researchers at the foundation will try to clone the animal that went extinct 4,500 years ago by using its tissue samples together with eggs taken from a modern Indian elephant, according to officials.