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Pleistocene Park?

Japanese researchers hope to create live woolly mammoths, destined for a theme park.

Karen Hopkin(khopkin@nasw.org)

A team of researchers led by Akira Iritani at Kinki University, Osaka are renewing efforts to collect tissue samples that they might use to clone a woolly mammoth, The Times reported this week. Funded by Japanese businessman Kazutoshi Kobayashi, who plans to populate a Siberian safari park with mammoths, the scientists are awaiting authorization from Russian authorities to retrieve material from the leg of a young male mammoth that was frozen in the Siberian permafrost some 25,000–30,000 years ago.

While celluloid scientists' biggest problem in "Jurassic Park" was keeping their resurrected raptors from tearing apart tourists, the Japanese scientists face a series of formidable real-world obstacles in bringing mammoths back, according to experts in the field.

First — assuming that they would follow the recipe that Ian Wilmut and colleagues used to produce Dolly — the Japanese scientists would need to locate a plump mammoth nucleus, ripe with intact...

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