.’s ambitious project Restoring extinct ecosystems will bring woolly mammoths back to life within a few more years. Scientific project that directs Famous geneticist George Church, Harvard University, aspires to see hybrids of these species walk in the North Pole It disappeared from the face of the earth between 10,000 and 1700 BC.
One of the investors in the project and co-founder of the company that is implementing it, Ben Lam, Highlight the work in progress since then “Humanity has never before been able to harness the power of this technology to rebuild ecosystems, heal the Earth and preserve its future by repatriating extinct animals.”
idea enormous , Lam’s new biosciences and genetics company co-founded by Church, “in addition to bringing back ancient, extinct species such as the woolly mammoth, Harnessing our technologies to help conserve endangered and on the verge of extinction and restore animals where humanity participated in their demise.”
The plan has an initial investment of $15 million from various investors, Including tech entrepreneur Ben Lam himself, The Times revealed.
The woolly mammoth is a prehistoric species that has been well studied by scientists from the many remains that have been discovered. It belonged to Elephant family It is estimated that extensive hunting by modern humans, Homo sapiens, led to its disappearance. According to what specialists were able to reconstruct, the mammoth was covered with long, curvy hair which allowed it to adapt to the climate Freezing cold of the ice age.
Mammuthus primigenius arrived at A Similar dimension to current elephants. The first complete specimen was found in Russia in 1806, near the mouth of Lena River in Siberia. Before and after this scientific event, many bones and curved defences were found both in that Russian region and in Arctic islands and North America.
Scientists estimate that the woolly mammoth gradually disappeared. First from Europe, around 10,000 BC, but it continued to exist until about 8000 BC in Siberia. In Alaska, specifically on St. Paul’s Island, it existed until about 6000 BC, and perhaps the last island that became extinct was the one on Wrangel Island, in the East Siberian Sea, around 1700 BC.
The Colossal project will seek to bring a hybrid of the species to life, in addition, Using its scientific technology to restore other lost ecosystems and delay climate change.
Church, 67, Professor of Genetics Robert Winthrop at Harvard Medical School He is known as the father of synthetic biology. Their work, along with that of other scientists, was instrumental in developing the Crispr gene-editing technology, in which scientists could alter DNA sequences and modify gene function for purposes such as correcting defects and genetics or making crops more resistant. It is a technology that was recognized with the Nobel Prize in 2012.
In 2015, Church and his team used CRISPR technology to link frozen woolly mammoth genes into the DNA of Asian elephant skin cells. This was the first time that woolly mammoth genes had been switched on since its extinction.
But the Colossal revival project is more complex and relies on genetic engineering concepts already proven in pigs. The result will be a genetically modified hybrid of an elephant and a mammoth, Grown in an artificial womb in a lab.
Colossal said on its website that the DNA of Asian elephants and woolly mammoths is 99.6% similar.
The initiative’s ultimate goal is to re-establish lost habitats by returning extinct species to their original places. In the case of the woolly mammoth, it will revitalize the arctic grasslands and that in turn It will slow the thawing of permafrost and increase the uptake of carbon dioxide, a cause of climate change.
Colossal has financial backing from leading technology investment firms and personalities like Thomas Tal, A billionaire film producer and investor in artificial intelligence, The Times added.
“Technologies that have been discovered in pursuit of this great vision, A live and walking alternative to the woolly mammoth, “It can create very important conservation opportunities,” Lamm said.
For its part, the company issued a statement explaining its project: “Colossal will launch a working model of de-extinction and will be the first company to apply advanced genetic modification techniques to reintegrate woolly mammoths into the arctic tundra.”
The concept of de-extinction involves creating an animal similar to an extinct species from genetics, There is no consensus among the scientific community, and some researchers doubt seriously of their feasibility or concern about the risks of their application.
As mentioned by Lamm, the company stressed in its statement that the creation of these bashidcode hybrids and their subsequent reintroduction into the tundra should allow Restoring lost ecosystems that could help slow or reverse the effects of climate change. The company expects. Genetically modified woolly mammoths, in particular, can “breathe new life into Arctic grasslands,” which Colossal says captures carbon dioxide and removes methane, two greenhouse gases.
The biologist predicted, “There are many problems that will arise from this process.” Beth Savero (a) The New York Times. “This is not ending extinction. There will never be a mammoth on Earth again. If it succeeds, it will be a fictional elephant, a whole new, synthetic, genetically modified organism”Warning on Twitter Tori Heridge, Biologist and paleontologist at the Natural History Museum, London.