Woolly mammoth to be cloned?

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Talk about making a big comeback! Scientists are one huge, furry step closer to cloning a woolly mammoth, after a recent autopsy performed on a remerkably preserved specimen. Back from the dead? Sounds like Weird Science to us!

The mammoth that was found is named Buttercup. She might not look like much today, but this 40,000-years-old mammoth once made remote Siberia her stomping ground. Because of her chilly location, when she finally did fall on the cold permafrost, the ground caused her to literally (and figuratively) freeze in time.

Needless to say, Buttercup is a little weather-beaten. But because this beastie still had relatively fresh-looking flesh that oozed dark blood, scientists are hopeful there's enough genetic material in her for cloning.

Of course, we're far from a Hollywood film scenario here, but the plan is for Buttercup to give geneticists an accurate genomic map of a mammoth, for future cloning. A living woolly mammoth clone might one day become a reality, after scientists came face-to-face, or more like flesh-to-flesh, with something that died so long ago.

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