A turning point was reached leading to the renaissance of the woolen mammoth

US News

The woolly mammoth can once again roam the earth.

That's Colossal Bioscience's goal as the biotech company announced a major breakthrough Wednesday in its efforts to revive the 6-ton, 16-foot animal from extinction.

The Dallas-based company has created stem cells from an Asian elephant in hopes of bringing back a woolly mammoth-like creature, according to reports.

“This is a very important step in the early stages of this project,” said George Church, a Harvard University professor of genetics and co-founder of the company. According to NPR.

The woolly mammoth can once again roam the earth. Shutterstock / Pavel Masichev

The woolly mammoth went the way of the dodo bird about 4,000 years ago, and although the company didn't bring back the same species, it would make for an animal with traits like a heavy fur coat and frost-resistant fat. Temperatures.

“It walks like a woolly mammoth, looks like one, looks like one, but most importantly it can live in the same ecosystem abandoned by the extinction of the mammoth,” the company said. said.

The company's goal, however lofty, is to eventually genetically tinker a stem cell embryo with a mammoth's genes and then fuse it with an elephant egg. The Washington Post reported. The fetus is then placed on an elephant's surrogate, which will hopefully give birth.

But not everyone is on board with Colossal's goal.

Tory Herridge, a paleontologist at the University of Sheffield in England, warned that any living elephant that gave birth to a new baby elephant would suffer at least some suffering.

“How many dead elephants are willing to get a piece of wool,” he told the Washington Post.

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Co-founder George Church said the move was a major breakthrough.
Co-founder George Church said the move was a major breakthrough.

Another scientist bluntly called it “irresponsible.”

“What are you going to get out of this?” Carl Flessa, a professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona, told NPR.

“First, I think you're going to have a freak show in a zoo somewhere. And then if you're going to release a herd in the arctic tundra, is that herd going to march to its second extinction in the face of global warming?

According to the Washington Post, Colossal stressed that if all goes according to plan, she would eventually like to use artificial wombs.

The agency argued that bringing back the woolly mammoth would actually help fight climate change because the traveling herds could slow permafrost — the frozen ground layer — from melting, releasing atmosphere-damaging carbon into the air, the Washington Post reported.

“Those are a lot of reasons to restore that environment to what it was,” Church said, according to the outlet. “This is the missing keystone species for that.”

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