Monday, Dec 18 2017
All Cities
Choose Your City
'That time Barnaul was undoubtedly the most cultural corner of Siberia. I named it Siberian Athens'
Pyotr Tyan-Shanskiy, 1856

Exclusive: The first pictures of blood from a 10,000 year old Siberian woolly mammoth

By Anna Liesowska
29 May 2013

Remarkable images show a test tube blood sample from a female of the long-extinct species.

First ever sample of mammoth's blood was discovered by Siberian researches. Picture: Semyon Grigoriev

Scientists say they have found both blood and muscle tissue - perfectly preserved in the ice - from a Siberian mammoth. 

The blood had dripped out of the giant animal into a natural ice capsule and it represents a dream discovery for researchers.

It comes amid a hotly contested debate on whether scientists should try to recreate the extinct species using DNA, though there now seems little doubt that this WILL happen, and the Russian team from Yakutsk that made the find is working in a partnership with South Korean scientists who are actively seeking to bring the mammoth back to life. 

first ever sample of mammoth's blood Siberia

'We were really surprised to find mammoth blood and muscle tissue,' said Semyon Grigoriev, head of the Museum of Mammoths of the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North Eastern Federal University. Picture: Semyon Grigoriev

The find was made in temperatures of minus 10C on the New Siberian Islands - or Novosibirsk Islands, off the coast of the Republic of Sakha. 

'We were really surprised to find mammoth blood and muscle tissue,' said Semyon Grigoriev, head of the Museum of Mammoths of the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North Eastern Federal University. 

'It is the first time we managed to obtain mammoth blood. No-one has ever seen before how the mammoth's blood flows'. 

He explained: 'The approximate age of this animal is about 10,000 years old. It has been preserved thanks to the special conditions, due to the fact that it did not defrost and then freeze again.

'We suppose that the mammoth fell into water or got bogged down in a swamp, could not free herself and died. Due to this fact the lower part of the body, including the lower jaw, and tongue tissue, was preserved very well. 

'The upper torso and two legs, which were in the soil, were gnawed by prehistoric and modern predators and almost did not survive.'

Despite this, he hails it as 'the best preserved mammoth in the history of paleontology. 

first ever sample of mammoth's blood Siberia

'For now our suspicion is that mammoth blood contains a kind of natural anti-freeze'. Picture: Semyon Grigoriev

The scientists believed from studying her teeth that this mammoth died when she was between 50 and 60 years of age. 

'Of course, we all heard the stories, that indigenous northern people found frozen mammoth meat and fed their dogs with it. However, even if this actually happened, they did not get into hands of scientists. 

'We hope that at least one living cell of the mammoth was preserved, but even in such a good condition of the carcass the chances of this are small.

'Yet it is great luck that the blood preserved and we plan to study it carefully'. 

first ever sample of mammoth's blood Siberia


first ever sample of mammoth's blood Siberia

'We have taken all possible samples: samples of blood, blood vessels, glands, soft tissue, in a word - everything that we could'. Picture: Semyon Grigoriev

'For now our suspicion is that mammoth blood contains a kind of natural anti-freeze.

'In 2010, Canadian researchers compared the DNA of the mammoth and its closest relative the Indian elephant. It turned out that mammoth haemoglobin let go of its oxygen much more readily at cold temperatures.'

With the newly-discovered mammoth 'we have taken all possible samples: samples of blood, blood vessels, glands, soft tissue, in a word - everything that we could. 

'Luckily we had taken with us on our expedition a special preservative agent for blood. 

'We decided that taking the whole carcass by helicopter to Yakutsk would be very dangerous and that we could lose invaluable material because of defrosting. We did not take the risk, and moved the rest of carcass - it weighs about a ton - from the islands to the mainland and put it into an icehouse. 

'In late July - early August, we plan to go there with our foreign colleagues for further researches.'

first ever sample of mammoth's blood Siberia


first ever sample of mammoth's blood Siberia

'We moved the rest of carcass from the islands to the mainland and put it into an icehouse'. Pictures: Semyon Grigoriev

Last year a deal was signed giving South Korean scientists exclusive rights on cloning the woolly mammoth from certain tissue samples found in the Siberian permafrost. Stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk's private bioengineering laboratory confirmed he is poised to make a bid to return the extinct Siberian mammoth to the planet. 

Once the tissues have been treated to a nuclear transfer process, the eggs will be implanted into the womb of a live elephant for a 22-month pregnancy.

Comments (114)

This is a bunch of crap. The Bible doesn't say anything about elephants that old. JUST KIDDING ... This is very exciting!!!
Allen Coggins, Louisville/U.S.A.
05/06/2013 08:45
4
1
Why bring an already extinct life-form back to life just to let it go extinct (again) like the tiger, the rhino and the polar bear? Seems cruel.
Doc1952, Lubbock, Texas
05/06/2013 00:22
0
12
The mammoth died off because of a strange, then new virus, that appeared in the ancient world. This was about the time early humans also suddenly disappeared. The virus was a type of corona virus which is resistant to heat and cold. The hair of the mammoth is considered the ideal place for the virus to hide out. And now..........
Paukl, Waziristan
05/06/2013 00:10
0
37
Fantastic. Living Mammoths would make a amazing tourist attraction that would bring much needed cash to the science of vertebrate paleontology. Looks like I'm off to some zoo in South Korea or Russia soon.
Dr. Carl, West Hempstead, NY, USA
04/06/2013 21:10
3
1
What a waste of money. We have all these worldwide issues about how to feed the starving and house the homeless and here we are, humans trying to bring back an extinct animal just because, instead of taking care of our own. To me, "playing God" should be imitating God and caring for those in our midst to the best of our ability. Just a thought...and all from an "unclear thinking right wing Christian"...
Dan, Rocky mount
03/06/2013 21:53
2
50
There won't be too many of them, as just look at the buffalo! They aren't free to roam and their meat is expensive. I see the mammoth going the same route. Only the well to do will be able to have it as a luxury. It will be society's new pate', so to say!
Anthony Parker, Salt Lake City, U.S.A
03/06/2013 05:44
0
7
What's the worst that could happen? Jurassic Park all over again? A bunch of angry mammoths beating up some snooty scientists. Or the best bbq ever? I've never tried pachyderm but who knows? Could be the new beef.

Please don't flip out, I just like meat.
Marc, Farmington, NM, USA
02/06/2013 13:51
8
1
Test your faith. Read entire link. You may never believe in God again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAURq_ouYLc
dug, usa
02/06/2013 09:17
0
4
To the people talking about human population on earth: I read somewhere that our population will plateau out at about 9 billion and won't go higher. But in the last 6 months, the. Human population has actually been slightly declining.
Logan, Louisville, Kentucky
01/06/2013 21:34
0
18
Bringing back a species is no worse than stepping in to save one that may be obsolete. See YouTube for George Carlin on environmentalism. Any moral construct about this is artificial. Should I grow tomatoes in my garden this year?
Jorge DiBosio, Katy, Texas
01/06/2013 20:44
7
1
First limit human numbers (7 billion and growing exponentially).
Scott Kruse, Fresno CA USA
01/06/2013 07:32
0
2
,
01/06/2013 06:12
0
2
Convicted Scientist
"Last year a deal was signed giving South Korean scientists exclusive rights on cloning the woolly mammoth from certain tissue samples found in the Siberian permafrost. Stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk's private bioengineering laboratory confirmed he is poised to make a bid to return the extinct Siberian mammoth to the planet."
Hwang Woo-suk is the same guy "On May 12, 2006, Hwang was charged with embezzlement and bioethics law violations after it emerged much of his stem cell research had been faked.[2] The Korea Times reported on June 10, 2007, that Seoul National University fired him, and the South Korean government canceled his financial support and barred him from engaging in stem cell research"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwang_Woo-suk

AVU4U, Washington DC, USA
01/06/2013 04:57
15
1
It was only a matter of time before this happened. Here is a fascinating mystery regarding the tens of millions of mammoths, and their sudden disappearance: http://tiny.cc/v8myxw
Smokey, San Jose, California
01/06/2013 01:11
5
1
This is an on-going discussion.

A question comes to my mind.

Should we (if at all possible) bring back to life an extinct animal just to have it enclosed in a zoo, to have it eternally in confinement?

A mammoth is an animal of open spaces. I guess. Should we bring them back to life just to keep them in restrain within a limited location?

I do not know why but my instinct tells me we should bring them back to life if that is at all possible.

It is important to emphasis that it seems it is still really not clear (for most of us outside the experts in the field) that this process is really possible.

Of course this is a very romantic subject to talk about, but is it really possible?

The debate should continue.

And the efforts, in the meanwhile, towards the aim should continue.




Gerardo Javier Galvez Arellano, Monterrey, Mexico
31/05/2013 23:00
2
2

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR69.43USD58.90GBP79.09Other...