The astonishingly well-preserved blood from a 10,000-year-old frozen mammoth could lead to mammoth stem cells, said Ian Wilmut, the scientist responsible for Dolly, the world's first cloned animal -- and might ultimately lead to a cloned mammoth.
There are several hurdles to such a venture, of course, and it may ultimately prove unsuccessful.
But Wilmut's weight lends credibility to the growing possibility of bringing back the mammoth -- "de-extinction" of a long-lost species.
"I think it should be done as long as we can provide great care for the animal," Wilmut told The Guardian. "If there are reasonable prospects of them being healthy, we should do it. We can learn a lot about them," he said.
In an essay on The Conversation, Wilmut spelled out the two main methods for turning an ancient pile of mammoth bones and blood into a living, breathing creature. The two he focused on were the use of elephant eggs to grow an embryo -- similar to the process that led to Dolly -- and the creation of embryonic mammoth stem cells.