A biotech company is working feverishly to “bring back” an important part of prehistoric life on our planet to the present. Last year, Dallas-based Colossal secured an additional $60 million in funding to continue a massive gene-editing project that began nearly two years ago (2021). If it achieves its goal, Colossal will not only be able to bring an extinct species back to life — one the company calls the “ultra-hardy elephant” — but it will reintroduce the woolly mammoth “into the same ecosystem in which it once lived in an effort to save it.” Fighting climate change,” she recently posted On average.
Colossal describes the woolly mammoths’ massive migration patterns as an active part of maintaining the health of the Arctic, so bringing the prehistoric giant back to life could have a beneficial impact on the health of the global ecosystem. Although Colossal originally hoped to return woolly mammoths to Siberia, the company may now be exploring other options due to the current global political context.
The hairy mammoth’s DNA is 99.6% identical to that of the Asian elephant, leading the company to believe it is on track to achieve its goal. “In most people’s minds, this creature is lost forever,” the company says. “But not in the minds of our scientists, nor in our company labs. We are already in the process of reintroducing the woolly mammoth. Our teams have collected viable DNA samples and are editing the genes that will allow these magnificent megafauna to once again roar in the Arctic.
Through gene editing, Colossal scientists plan to create a woolly mammoth embryo, and then, taking advantage of its size, will place the embryo in an African elephant, which they hope will be able to carry out the difficult birth process. The ultimate goal is to repopulate parts of the Arctic with new woolly mammoths and enhance the local plant life with their migration patterns and feeding habits.
If the Colossal project proves successful in “resurrecting” the woolly mammoth – as well as the Tasmanian tiger, also known as the Tasmanian jaguar, which became extinct in 1936 – a number of new ethical questions are expected to emerge about how to deal with the creature. And the potential issues for its reintroduction into our world.
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