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Scientists dissect 42,000 year old extinct male foal preserved in permafrost for cloning bid - video

By The Siberian Times reporter
17 April 2019

Exclusive footage of pioneering work by Russian and South Korean scientists finding oldest blood ever discovered from deep in the Ice Age.

‘This is the world most ancient liquid urine.' Picture: Semyon Grigoryev

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

The video - shown here - highlights the moment the best preserved Ice age animal ever found was dissected in the name of science. 

It was during this laboratory autopsy that they discovery of liquid blood in the baby horse, boosting hopes of cloning the extinct Lenskaya horse species back to life and paving the way for a similar attempt with the woolly mammoth. 

The blood is believed to be the oldest ever found, as reported here yesterday. 

Now we can reveal that during this groundbreaking procedure scientists also found urine intact in the prehistoric foal - but sadly failed to discover any mother’s milk in the  animal which drowned aged less than two weeks old some 42,000 years ago. 

The experts in a laboratory in Yakutsk are dissecting the ancient foal in an attempt to obtain cells which can be used in a cloning bid. 

The have already said they are ‘confident of success’ in this process. 

Our footage shows South Korean cloning expert Professor Hwang Woo-suk, from the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, leading the dissection team. 

It was shot by Dr Lena Grigoryeva, a leading Russian researcher on the project who has previously suggested that a Korean mare is likely to be used as the surrogate mother in a cloning bid. 

Liquid blood was taken from the heart vessels, and then muscle tissue from the permafrost-preserved foal - still with its red colour as if the animal died yesterday - was dissected. 

Dr Semyon Grigoryev, head of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, told The Siberian Times today: 'During the autopsy of the ancient foal we also found urine in the bladder. 

‘This is the world most ancient liquid urine. 

‘We have given it to our medical researchers for tests.

‘They will check the concentration of protein, glucose, ketone bodies, bilirubin derivatives and bilirubin itself, hemoglobin, leukocyte DNA, pH, the urine’s density, microscopy and other parameters….’

Computer tomography


Foal's dissection


Taking tissue samples


Foal's heart

Muscle tissue from the permafrost-preserved foal - still with its red colour as if the animal died yesterday - was dissected. Pictures: Semyon Grigoryev

‘Just the fact of its preservation is amazing and unique for the remains of that age.

‘It is hard to say now if we can get any information about foal's life, as it was in fact newborn when died. 

'Sadly the gastrointestinal tract was clogged with mud, so we could not find any mother’s milk there.’

Dr Grigoryev earlier explained that the foal is in an exceptional condition without any visible damage. 

‘This is extremely rare for paleontological finds, because some of them are either incomplete, fragmented, with serious body deformations or strongly mummified,’ said the expert. 

‘The foal’s hair is intact on its head, legs and part of its body. 

‘Its tail and mane are black, the rest of the foal’s body is bay. 

‘Having preserved hair is another scientific sensation as all previous ancient horses were found without hair.’

Talking blood sample


Foal blood

Taking blood sample and the most ancient blood.

He said: ‘Our studies showed that at the moment of death the foal was from one to two weeks old, so he was just recently born,’ said the scientist. 

‘As in previous cases of really well-preserved remains of prehistoric animals, the cause of death was drowning in mud which froze and turned into permafrost. 

‘A lot of mud and silt which the foal gulped during the last seconds of its life were found inside its gastrointestinal tract.’

Work is so advanced that the team is reportedly poised to select a surrogate mother for the historic role of giving birth to the comeback species. 

Michil Yakovlev, editor of the university’s corporate media, said: 'Hopefully, the world will soon meet the clone of the ancient foal who lived 42,000 years ago.’

The foal was found in the Batagai depression in Yakutia.

An attempt to restore the species to life is seen as paving the way for a similar effort to restore to life the giant woolly mammoth.  

The same scientists are working on both projects.

The foal was found in the Batagai depression in Yakutia.

Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal

Comments (4)

This is fascinating! I am glad that the scientific teams worked hard on preserving data and results about this ancient horse.
Katharina Schmidt, Germany
22/06/2019 16:32
1
0
Dear sir,
When you make a copy for this horse (male or female) need other kind to have couple, in order to get marriage to continuity.But usefulness when copy single sex of horse.
Best Regards,
Ali Salman Ali, Iraq
24/04/2019 14:19
0
2
Many in the world are grateful, as I am, for the care and effort put into the amazing opportunity with this ice age foal! Here's a minor request though: Can we come up with a different description for the "woolly" mammoths. Frozen mammoths might be better. Of course, they had hair, but no wool.
Bob Enyart, Denver, Colorado USA
20/04/2019 00:42
0
2
This might be "the pony she named Wildfire"
Willie,
18/04/2019 23:27
1
1
1

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