The woolly mammoth, which died out thousands of years ago can be brought back to life in just four years, thanks to a breakthrough in cloning technology.
Previous attempts to restore the nucleus of skin cells and muscle tissue of mammoths, which are found in the Siberian permafrost failed because the extreme cold caused them too much damage.
But in 2008, Dr. Teruhiko Uakayama of the Center for Developmental Biology has developed a new technology in this area. He succeeded in cloning a mouse from the cells of another mouse that had been frozen for 16 years.
This success inspired Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University to resume his project to resurrect the species that died out 5,000 years ago.
"Now the technical problems have been resolved, and we need only suitable sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth," - he said.
He intends to use the technology, Dr. Uakayamy to identify the nuclei of mammoth cells and choose the most healthy.
Then, the core will be introduced into the egg of an African elephant, which will act as a surrogate mother for the mammoth.
According to the calculations of Professor Iritani will take another two years to ensure that the elephant has been successfully fertilized. Pregnancy will last for 600 days.
He announced his plans to travel to Siberia in the summer to search for mammoths in the permafrost to take a sample of skin or tissue in the area of 3 by 3 centimeters. If his attempt fails, a professor, he said, will appeal to the Russian scientist with a request to provide a sample of one of their finds.
"Until recently, the success rate in the cloning of cattle was small, but now increased to 30 percent," - he said. "I believe that we have a decent chance of success and a healthy mammoth could be born within four or five years."