TODAY   |  July 12, 2013

Well-preserved mammoth could be used for cloning

Yuka, an exceptionally well-preserved mammoth, is on exhibit in Japan, opening a window on life in the ice age and the possibility, experts say, of cloning the extinct animals thanks to Yuka stil having liquid blood and, potentially, stem cells. NBC’s Ian Williams reports.

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>> thank you. a wooly mammoth is going on display this weekend. it was so well preserved scientists were able to extract it's blood. the question now, what do they plan to do with it? ian williams has the story in japan this morning. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning savannah. he was dug from the ice of siberia and is now going on show here. scientists are getting excited. they say an enormous amount can be learned from what's possibly the best preserved mammoth ever found. when scientists here took the lid off this latest mammoth exhibit they were opening a window on life in the ice age . the two-year-old baby mammoth is an exceptionally rare find. so well preserved the hair still dots her body. she died 36,000 years ago likely killed by a lion and butchered by humans.

>> there is an endless human fast nation with wooly mammoths and so more so than with this one found in good shape.

>> it's giving up it's secrets. she was so well preserved she still had liquid blood inside her. stem cells possibly and experts say that may offer an opportunity to recreate these iconic animals. a former skeptic --

>> looking at here individual dna fragments can be stitched together to make a long sequence.

>> is piecing together blocks of dna and hoping to win the race to clone the ice age giant or something close to them.

>> the revival of an extint species is within each.

>> a modern day jurassic park .

>> there's habitat in the north of siberia that could house a mammoth.

>> he prepared a 60 mile natural park in siberia . trusting that mammoth extension will soon be a thing of the past. that may seem farfetched and there are plenty of obstacles but more and more experts believe cloning will be possible and jurassic park will no longer be in the realm of hollywood.

>> all right. ian williams . jurassic park is one thing but what about mammothnado?

>> you should do that.