A mammoth reconstruction
A boy looks at a mammoth reconstuction in the Ice Age Museum in Moscow. In Siberia's northernmost reaches, high up in the Arctic Circle, the changing temperature is thawing out the permafrost to reveal the bones of prehistoric animals like mammoths, woolly rhinos and lions that have been buried for thousands of years. Wholly mammoths last roamed the Earth 10,000 years ago, but a team of Korean and Russian scientists announced their plan to bring the giant mammal back to life, like the fictional 1993 film that brought back dinosaurs.

Scientists believe they can bring the woolly mammoth back to life within five years through cloning. They have recovered a thigh bone that has well-preserved bone marrow from permafrost soil in Siberia.

Researchers hope to re-create the mammoth's DNA by replacing the nuclei of egg cells from an elephant with those taken from the mammoth's marrow cells, the Daily Mail has quoted Japan's Kyodo News as reporting. The cloned embryos would be planted into elephant wombs for delivery, as the two species are close relatives, the report said.

Scientists with the Russian Sakha Republic's mammoth musuem and the Japanese Kinki University are expected to launch a joint research project next year to re-create the giant mammal.

It was a challenge for the researchers to find the nuclei with undamaged mammoth genes. "Securing nuclei with an undamaged gene is essential for the nucleus transplantation technique," the Kyodo News reported.

The woolly mammoth became extinct nearly 10,000 years ago.