A Russian university says scientists have discovered frozen woolly mammoth fragments that may contain living cells deep in Siberia, bringing closer the possibility of cloning the extinct animal.
The North-Eastern Federal University said in a statement on Tuesday that an international team had discovered mammoth hair, soft tissues and bone marrow at a depth of 328ft (100m) during a summer expedition.
Expedition chief Semyon Grigoryev said a group of Korean scientists with the team had set a goal of finding living cells in the hope of cloning a mammoth. Scientists have previously found bodies and fragments, but not living cells.
Grigoryev told online newspaper Vzglyad it would take months of lab research to determine whether they have indeed found the cells.
Woolly mammoths are thought to have died out 10,000 years ago.