Using ancient DNA extracted from specimens of woolly mammoths preserved in the Siberian permafrost, researchers from the University of Adelaide and other universities managed to reconstruct the hemoglobin of these long-extinct beasts. The researchers converted the protein’s DNA sequences into RNA and inserted it into E. coli bacteria, which then manufactured the ancient mammoth protein. Does that mean we’ll be seeing woolly mammoths strolling the streets of Adelaide any time soon?
No, says the study’s co-author, Professor Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide. “This is not going to bring the species back to life. We’ve only done this with one protein.”