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Siberia is a treasure trove for palaeontologists. For more than a decade, Love Dalén, an evolutionary geneticist at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, has travelled to Russia every couple of years to hunt for the remains of mammoths and other ice-age creatures preserved in permafrost. Earlier this year, after two years of pandemic restrictions, Dalén and his team were preparing to leave on a long-delayed research expedition to the Russian wilds.