Does the world need the wooly mammoth to come back to life? Some scientists and my 11-year-old son think so.
A genetics company called Colossal has raised $15 million to recreate the animal in a lab.
The scientists will start by mixing mammoth DNA with an elephant and create a hybrid. The mammoth DNA was extracted from permafrost. The embryos will be raised in an artificial womb and hopefully be “born” within the next six years.
“Our goal is to make a cold-resistant elephant, but it is going to look and behave like a mammoth. Not because we are trying to trick anybody, but because we want something that is functionally equivalent to the mammoth, that will enjoy its time at -40C, and do all the things that elephants and mammoths do, in particular knocking down trees,” the lead scientist told the Guardian.
This is not just a fun Jurassic Park-like project. Scientists are hoping that mammoth-like elephants can help restore the Arctic tundra and restore Arctic grasslands destroyed by climate change.