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Korean sought mammoth meat from Russian mafia

Cloning extinct species no easy tusk

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Disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk told a court in Seoul that his attempt to clone extinct mammoths was based on material he bought from the Russian Mafia.

Woo-Suk is on trial for allegedly faking results of his stem cell research and related misappropriation of public funds and private donations. He admitted yesterday that some money was given to the Russian Mafia in exchange for supposed mammoth remains.

Woo-Suk tried three times to clone the hairy elephants and also tried cloning tigers.

He gave the court no details except that: "Some of the money was spent in contacting the Russia Mafia as we tried to clone mammoths," according to Reuters.

Explaining the difficulties of Korean expense claims, he said: "But you can't say that [on the expense claim] so we expensed it as money for cows for experiment."

Mammoth remains have been found in Siberia and it has been suggested that some of them might yield enough genetic material to recreate them. ®

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