Mammoth cloning possible in 4 years – Mammoth babies coming

The woolly mammoth, extinct for thousands of years, could be brought back to life in as little as four years because of bored self-involved scientists looking for something to do that will make them rich and famous.

Mammoth cloning possible in 4 years

Mammoth cloning possible in 4 years

Previous efforts in the 1990s to recover nuclei in cells from the skin and muscle tissue from mammoths found in the Siberian permafrost failed because they had been too badly damaged by the extreme cold.

But a technique pioneered in 2008 by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama, of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology, was successful in cloning a mouse from the cells of another mouse that had been frozen for 16 years.

Now that hurdle has been overcome, Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University, is reactivating his campaign to resurrect the species that died out 5,000 years ago.

“Now the technical problems have been overcome, all we need is a good sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

He intends to use Dr Wakayama’s technique to identify the nuclei of viable mammoth cells before extracting the healthy ones.

The nuclei will then be inserted into the egg cells of an African elephant, which will act as the surrogate mother for the mammoth.

Professor Iritani said he estimates that another two years will be needed before the elephant can be impregnated, followed by the approximately 600-day gestation period.

He has announced plans to travel to Siberia in the summer to search for mammoths in the permafrost and to recover a sample of skin or tissue that can be as small as 3cm square. If he is unsuccessful, the professor said, he will ask Russian scientists to provide a sample from one of their finds.

“The success rate in the cloning of cattle was poor until recently but now stands at about 30 per cent,” he said. “I think we have a reasonable chance of success and a healthy mammoth could be born in four or five years.”

DR Congo stays Norway

Copied from Beeb:

Norway has said it has been assured by the Democratic Republic of Congo that two Norwegian nationals sentenced to death will not now be executed.

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said he had received the guarantee from his DRC counterpart, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba.

Joshua French, who holds joint British-Norwegian nationality, and Tjostolv Moland were convicted in September of murdering a taxi driver and spying.

The two men lost an appeal at a military tribunal on 3 December.

Mr Stoere said that Mr Thambwe Mwamba had assured him during a conversation that a moratorium on executions in DR Congo meant that the death sentence would not be carried out.

The tribunal appeal in Kisangani upheld the death sentences on Moland and French – former Norwegian soldiers convicted of murdering their Congolese driver.

They and the Norwegian state were also ordered to pay $500m (£300m) in damages.

The rulings drew immediate international protests amid claims of miscarriages of justice.

Norwegian national broadcaster NRK says the pair plan to appeal against the sentence in Kinshasa’s supreme court, AP news agency reports.

Moland and French have been held since May this year since their Congolese driver was found shot dead.

Both men deny murdering Abedi Kasongo, 47, maintaining that he was shot and killed when their car was ambushed by gunmen on the road near the city of Kisangani.

Charlie Sheen sentenced to death 5 times in Congo.

Tjostolv Moland as Charlie Sheen, and Joshua French

Tjostolv Moland as Charlie Sheen, and Joshua French

August 28th 2009. Kinshasa, Congo.

 

Has Charlie Sheen just been sentenced to death 5 times in combination with a demand of 500 billion USD worth, during a trial in Congo? Well it may look like it. His real name however is Tjolstolv Moland, while his equally unlucky parner to the right on the picture is Joshua French.

A military prosecutor in Congo asked the court on Friday to sentence to death 5 times + 20 years the two Norwegians accused of killing their driver Abedi Kasongo in May earlier this year.
The two Norwegian mercenaries Joshua French (27), and Tjostolv Moland (28), are charged with murder, attempted murder, espionage, conspiracy and armed robbery, after their driver was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head in Congo’s northeastern Orientale province.

The two Norwegians have denied all allegations, and claim that their driver was shot by armed gangs. Of course, the trial wouldn’t have been a corrupt banana republic worthy if the he prosecution hadn’t also demanded this week that Norway pays Congo $500 billion in damages over the incident.

More Norwegian news

The trial continues on Tuesday. In either case the two seem to be screwed.
But at least we already know who will play Moland in the upcoming movie of the Congolese farse.
Mike Myers may play his part again too.

I hope for the sake of the victim and his family that the guilty parts will face a proper trial and be brought to justice some day.

Update, 2011:
Now with Charlie Sheen going crazy in the US, maybe it’s just a matter of time before the headline becomes true: Charlie Sheen in the news