According to experts, we could ‘resurrect Woolly mammoths within the next six years as part of a genetic engineering project which aims to reverse extinction.
The mammoth used to roam the Arctic and was sadly wiped out around 4,000 years ago. However, this may all change thanks to a firm who are partnering with a renowned Harvard geneticist and have raised $15m to bring them back.
The project ran by Colossal’s titled “de-extinction” aim is to slow or even halt the effects of climate change by developing a working model to restore lost or damaged ecosystems.
DNA patterns of woolly mammoths that have been collected from well-preserved remains from the permafrost and frozen steppes will be added to the genome of Asian elephants to create an “elephant mammoth hybrid”.
As Asian elephants and woolly mammoths DNA are 99.6% similar DNA experts predict this project will be a success.
Woolly mammoths DNA has been extracted from different locations like hair, bones, teeth and tusks which scientists have spent years gathering.
Colossal told Nat Geo the first hybrid calf can be expected in the next six years while a full self-sustaining herd could take multiple decades.
The company CEO and new technology entrepreneur said: “Never before has humanity been able to harness the power of this technology to rebuild ecosystems, heal our Earth and preserve its future through the repopulation of extinct animals.”
His aim with Colossal is to be able to bring back historic extinct species and use their state of the art technologies to help eliminate the threat of extinction of species who are critically endangered.
They will “restore animals where humankind has had a hand in their demise”.
They believe resurrecting these beasts could revitalise the Arctic grasslands which play a big role in combatting climate change by capturing and storing carbon and mediating methane in the atmosphere.
Co-founder of the company, Professor George Church a geneticist at Harvard University plans to use a Nobel prize-winning gene-editing software named CRISPR.
This technology allows scientists to alter DNA and tweak gene function making it possible to correct genetic defects or make crops more resilient.
“Technologies discovered in pursuit of this grand vision – a living, walking proxy of a woolly mammoth – could create very significant opportunities in conservation and beyond,”
Resilient herbivores were hunted by early humans who used their tusks to form tools and their meat for food.
How you do feel about the possibility we can resurrect woolly mammoths?