Discovery of blood in creature frozen for 43,000 years is seen as major breakthrough by international team.
Viktoria Egorova, chief of the Research and Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory of the Medical Clinic of North-Eastern Federal University, said: 'We have dissected the soft tissues of the mammoth - and I must say that we didn't expect such results. The carcass that is more than 43,000 years old has preserved better than a body of a human buried for six months.
'The tissue cut clearly shows blood vessels with strong walls. Inside the vessels there is haemolysed blood, where for the first time we have found erythrocytes. Muscle and adipose tissues are well preserved.
'We have also obtained very well visualised migrating cells of the lymphoid tissue, which is another great discovery.
'The upper part of the carcass has been eaten by animals, yet the lower part with the legs and, astonishingly, the trunk are very well preserved.
'We also have the mammoth's liver - very well preserved, too, and looks like with some solid fragments inside it. We haven't managed to study them yet, but the first suggestion is that possibly these are kidney stones.
'Another discovery was intestines with remains of the vegetation the mammoth ate before its death, and a multi-chambered stomach what we've been working with today, collecting tissue samples. There is a lot more material that will have to go through laboratory research'.