An American startup made up of geneticists has raised $15 million for an unusually ambitious project: bringing mammoths back to life. If successful, the experiment could make it possible to combat global warming and the extinction of animal species.
Among the mammoths, only majestic skeletons remain today in the museums’ prehistoric galleries. In a few years, it may be possible to see them walking again in nature. This is the project of American scientists who want to revive the mammoth. Ben Lam runs the biogenetics company Colossal, which has just embarked on the project. “The mammoth we’re working on would be about the size of an African elephant. I think 20 years is a reasonable horizon for hope of seeing prehistoric wildlife in the Arctic.”He trusts the latter.
To recreate the prehistoric giants, Colossal intends to use frozen mammoth genetics and DNA, supplementing it with elephant DNA, with which it shares more than 99% of its genes. For scientists, the benefit will be twofold. In the past, mammoths acted as a permafrost, dumping the ice of this permafrost in the northern regions, which has a crucial role in storing carbon. So their return to Earth will be instrumental in combating the climate crisis. Then, the experiment will make it possible to reuse the developed technology to save other species that are extinct or on the verge of extinction.
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