Woolly mammoth may see new life

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 15 Sep 2021

It is the elephant in the genomics room: can extinct species be resurrected?

One bioscience firm insists they can, announcing their intent to use emerging technology to restore the woolly mammoth to the Arctic tundra.

Ben Lamm, chief executive and cofounder of the company Colossal, said: "Never before has humanity been able to harness the power of this technology to rebuild ecosystems and preserve its future through the repopulation of extinct animals."

Woolly mammoths died out about 4,000 years ago.

For decades, scientists have been recovering bits of mammoth tusks, bones, teeth and hair to sequence the mammoth's DNA.

Colossal says it aims to insert DNA sequences of the mammoths into the genome of Asian elephants to create an "elephant-mammoth hybrid" since the two share a 99.6 percent similar DNA makeup.

The woolly mammoth's migration patterns were seen as critical to preserving the Arctic's environmental health.

Colossal notes that revitalizing the Arctic grasslands can also contribute to combating climate change.

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