Mammoth blood? Siberian discovery sparks some wild and woolly claims

The carcass of a female mammoth found on Maliy Lyakhovsky Island by the expedition of North-Eastern Federal University, gave a food for reflection of scientific community. The uniqueness of the malolyakhovsky mammoth is that it was the first well-preserved carcass for last 112 years. But the main interest is cryoprotective properties of blood from the ancient animal.“Liquid blood was found in ice cavities below the belly and when we broke these cavities with a poll pick, the blood came running out. Interestingly, the temperature at the time of excavation was – 7 to – 10ºC”, said Semyon Grigoriev, head of the Museum of Mammoths named after P.A. Lazareva of NEFU Institute of Applied Ecology of the North. On 29 May, members of the expedition said that their discovery may prove the research results of

Canadian scientist. “We found an article published in 2010 of the University of Manitoba professor Kevin Campbell in “Nature Genetics” Journal”, where he makes an assumption that the hemoglobin of mammoth blood could continue delivering oxygen to body tissues even in extreme cold. Thus, our discovery could be an actual evidence of this assumption”, said Semyon Grigoriev. According to the head of expedition, they contacted Kevin Campbell. Canadian scientist expressed a wish to cooperate with the colleagues from Yakutia.The samples of mammoth have been taken to Yakutsk for bacterial examination in order to detect causative agents of especially dangerous infections. The researchers suppose that the next blood and tissues analysis will give the priceless scientific materials, especially for a joint project of NEFU and Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in cloning a mammoth. – Author: Ignat ALEKSEEV, NEFU – About university: North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk (NEFU) is one of the eight Russian federal universities. Recent reforms in the Russian Federation have created a new network of federal universities. This trend towards integration and modernization in higher university education is typical of many countries. As international experience shows, additional financial support from government promotes the high quality

of education and higher performance in international rankings. The North-Eastern Federal University is to become a strategic center for the formation of a common cultural, scientific and educational space, based on the values of indigenous culture of the peoples of the northeast of Russia, providing quality personal education in a multiethnic environment. The NEFU development program towards the year 2020, was approved by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on October 7, 2010. The following six priority areas were identified in the Program: the new quality of the university; efficient environmental management and environmental security; efficient use of mineral resources; the use of science-based technologies and production in the North; the quality of life in the North; the preservation and development of languages and cultures; the analytical and personnel support for innovative socio-economic development of the northeastern part of the Russian Federation. In all areas of university activities large-scale transformations have been initiated, primarily to create a unified scientific and methodological foundation. A comprehensive plan for the transition to a two-level system of educational, scientific and methodical aspects of basic educational programs has been developed, innovative Master’s programs are ready for implementation, and all education departments are being restructured.  News from: North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk (NEFU). – Cryoprotective properties of mammoth blood. —-

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