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Scientists of NEFU and South Korea extracted DNA of ancient fossil animals


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Scientists of NEFU and South Korea extracted DNA of ancient fossil animals

Photo: from the archive of NEFU International Center for Collective Use “Molecular Paleontology"

Researchers of North-Eastern Federal University in cooperation with South Korean colleagues from Sooam Biotech Foundation Professor Kyu Chan Khvan and his assistant Dzheng Dzhon Khan have worked on the DNA extraction of ancient fossil animals, according to NEFU International Center for Collective Use "Molecular Paleontology".

This work is the first step in a large-scale study of genomes of Yakutian ancient animals, according to Lena Grigorieva, leading researcher at NEFU Center for Collective Use. "At this stage we have extracted DNA of mammoths and other ancient fossils - bison, horse, rhinoceros, dog and wolf. Korean scientists will carry out the second step of deciphering the genome in GEROMICS laboratory of the University of Ulsan. In summer, we will organize the third stage - the interpretation of the results, mathematical, statistical analyses on the basis of our university", the scientist said.

It is important that part of the research was conducted at NEFU laboratories with the participation of our specialists, they also will gain some experience, according to Head of NEFU Laboratory "Mammoth Museum" Semyon Grigoriev. "Previously, we only acted as suppliers of paleontological material for foreign scientists. Now our task is to become one of the leading centers of paleo-DNA research in Asia, working together with the Korean and Chinese colleagues", he noted.

Materials from the collection of NEFU Mammoth Museum were used in the DNA extraction of fossil animals. "Students of the Institute of Natural Sciences took part in the research. They defended their graduation theses and continue master’s thesis", said Lena Grigorieva.

According to NEFU researcher, staff from Sooam participate in summer field expeditions in the North of Yakutia to search paleontological material annually. "Head of SOAAM Foundation, Professor Hwang Woo Suk regularly goes on summer expeditions. This season, work on the study of mammoth fauna was conducted in Verkhoyansky region and Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Islands", she said. In summer 2017, the study will be continued, results of interpretation and analyses will be published.


International Center for Collective Use "Molecular Paleontology" of NEFU Scientific-Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North was opened in March 2015 under the agreement on scientific cooperation on the project "Revival of the mammoth and other fossil animals", which was concluded between the Federal University and “Sooam Biotech Research Foundation" on September 23, 2012.

Author: Olga SAVVINOVA, NEFU Newsroom

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