Extinct woolly mammoths, cave lions and other long-gone species may be brought back to lifee in a new £4.5million cloning facility in Russia, scientists claim.

The new Jurassic Park-style centre will be a “world class paleo-genetic scientific hub” in the world’s coldest city, Yakutsk, in the remote north-east of the country.

Vladimir Putin’s exact plans will be unveiled in September at an investment forum but experts say the centre will aim “to study extinct animals from living cells – and to restore such creatures as the woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, cave lion and breeds of long-gone horses”.

Mammoth trunks will be examined in the facility
Mammoth trunks will be examined in the facility

The cloning laboratories – some sunk deep in the permafrost soil – will extend research by Russian scientists who are already working closely with South Korean specialists.

They’ve found DNA from the ancient animals preserved in remains encased in frozen soil – or permafrost – for tens of thousands of years.

Dr Lena Grigorieva – who drafted plans for the centre – said: “There is no such unique material anywhere else in the world.

The woolly mammoth diverged from the steppe mammoth about 400,000 years ago in east Asia
The woolly mammoth diverged from the steppe mammoth about 400,000 years ago in east Asia
South Korean SOOAM Biotech Research Foundation has supported the plans

“We study not only Pleistocene animals – another line is the study of the history of settlement of the North-East of Russia.

“Northern ethnic groups have a unique ancient genetic structure.

“Such studies will help in the study of rare genetic diseases, their diagnosis, prevention.”

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin will officially unveil his plans next month (Image: REUTERS)

 

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