Researchers are confident they will successfully extract cells from the 42,000-year-old extinct foal in order to clone its prehistoric species and bring it back to life.
Succeeding in bringing the extinct horse species back to life could be the cornerstone of attempting to return the giant woolly mammoth from extinction.
The specimen was only two weeks old when it died and was preserved in pristine condition in Siberian permafrost for more than 42,000 years.
For the past few months, scientists from Russian and South Korea have been working painstakingly to obtain the necessary cells needed to clone the extinct cold-resistant Lenskaya breed, a species that went extinct around 4,000 years ago.
As noted by the Siberian Times, “Researchers are confident of the success of the project,’ explained a source at the North East Federal University in Yakutsk – the world’s coldest city – which is hosting the work.
“The attempts will continue until the end of April this year.’ These are the first pictures showing the pioneering work to extract cells for the foal cloning attempt.”
So far the process made by experts is incredible. In fact, it has been revealed that scientists are already looking for a mother for the role of bringing the ancient horse species back to life.
The project, led by South Korean cloning expert Professor Hwang Woo-suk, is closely related to efforts of potentially bringing back the Woolly Mammoths back to life.
“There are seven researchers involved in the (foal) project on the Korean side and everyone is positive about the outcome,” explained Dr. Lena Grigoryeva, a leading Russian researcher on the project.
Scientists have revealed that the first cloning attempt will see a Korean Hose become a surrogate mother. The South Korean horse would fit perfectly in the role.
“They have been used in cloning for a while and the technology is mastered to perfection. Besides, the Korean horse is quite ancient too. It is a successor of Mongolian horse,” revealed Grigoryeva.
However, another option would be to use the Yakut horse – a breed native to eastern Siberia. This species actually succeeded the now-extinct Lenskaya species. The Yakuta horse is well-adapted for cold environments and can survive winters with temperatures as low as -60°C.
Most importantly, scientists have revealed everything seems to be going according to plan.
Dr. Semyon Grigoryev, the leading researcher at the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, previously said: ‘Fortunately, the animal’s muscle tissues were undamaged and well preserved, so we managed to get samples of this unique find for biotechnology research.’
“Hopefully, the world will soon meet the clone of the ancient foal who lived 42,000 years ago,” added Michil Yakovlev, editor of the university’s corporate media.