The frozen remains of 50,000-year-old baby mammoth are set to be bombarded with gamma rays. Not to mutate it and bring it to life, but rather to kill the germs it is harbouring.
The same technique has been used on other pre-historic and archaeological objects — “we treated Ramses II’s mummy in 1977. It was less than 1,800 years old and was infected with a fungus that was attacking it,” Laurent Cortella, the lab’s nuclear physician who will treat Khoma, told AFP.
“Our baby, inside its box, will undergo three to four days of a continuous bombardment of 20,000 grays of gamma rays,” he said, grays being the unit that measures absorbed dosage.
“The slightest lethargic little germ from time immemorial hasn’t the least chance of resisting when you realise that one gamma ray of four grays kills a human.
“We’ve never handled such an old object or fossil, nor a creature unearthed from the permafrost.”