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Researchers reconstructed the woolly mammoth’s genetic code in unprecedented detail using fossilized chromosomes from a 52,000-year-old carcass found in Siberian permafrost. Named after mulleted footballer Chris Waddle, the mammoth’s freeze-dried skin preserved its 3D chromosome structure. This allowed scientists to assemble the genome, identify 28 chromosome pairs, and analyze gene activity. Prof. Erez Lieberman Aiden and Dr. Olga Dudchenko from Baylor College of Medicine highlighted the significance of this “new kind of fossil” for understanding extinct species. The breakthrough came after testing dozens of samples over five years.

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