The woolly mammoth may be on the comeback trail, thanks to a deal signed today between prominent Russian and South Korean scientists to collaborate on efforts to clone the extinct prehistoric beast. Vasily Vasiliev, of the North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic, forged the pact with controversial cloning expert Hwang Woo-Suk—who you might remember as the guy who faked the cloning of a human egg, the AFP reports.
Hwang does have some serious credentials, however; he legitimately produced the world's first cloned dog, and his efforts on human stem cells accidentally yielded a huge breakthrough in parthenogenesis. Hwang's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation will transfer technology to Vasiliev's university, which is already working with Japanese researchers on cloning the mammoth. "This will be a really tough job," one of Hwang's colleague says, "but we believe it is possible because our institute is good at cloning animals." (Read more Hwang Woo suk stories.)