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Scientists Complete Mammoth Genome Sequence


A team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of two woolly mammoth -- the most complete genetic information assembled on the creature so far.

The study was published in the journal Current Biology on April 23.

The DNA came from two mammoths: a 45,000-year-old carcass from northeastern Siberia and a 4,300-year-old molar from a mammoth in the last population isolated on Russia's Wrangel Island in the Arctic Circle.

Love Dalen of the Swedish Museum of Natural History and his colleagues sequenced the mammoth genome in order to learn more about what happened when these elephant relatives emblematic of the Ice Age went extinct around 4,000 years ago.

Dalen said the publication of the full DNA sequence of the mammoth could also help those trying to bring mammoths back to life through genetic engineering.

But he said it's "very uncertain" that it's even possible.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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