Mammoth blood won't bring us any closer to cloning adorable baby woolly mammoths. That is, if the substance being ballyhooed in news reports really is mammoth blood to begin with.
Despite this week's breathless stories heralding the discovery of mammoth blood and the prospect of recreating the shaggy beasts, relatively little is known about the find.
Like other previously discovered mammoths, the roughly 10,000-year-old specimen recently found among Russia's Novosibirsk Islands remained wonderfully intact in the northern deep freeze. The old female mammoth appears to preserve a great extent of soft tissues over the carcass, according to early reports. (Read more about reviving extinct animals)
But a peculiar liquid found around the carcass is what has been making headlines.
North-Eastern Federal University mammoth expert Semyon Grigoriev, who spearheaded the excavation of the mammoth, has publicly speculated that this fluid is mammoth blood that may contain viable cells. This would seem to bring the possibility of resurrecting a mammoth closer than ever before, but the scientific truth is that we're still a long way from even hoping for such a feat.