A bioscience startup will bring the woolly mammoth of the ice age back to the 21st century. The scientists who lead the operation have already raised at least 15 million dollars that will be used to develop the first offspring in the next six years.
The current revolution in the field of genetics could even develop vaccines that eradicate diseases that in the first instance can allow these animals a longer life.
The things I described in Jurassic Park are now scientifically possible. Today we have genetic tools, specifically the CRISPR system, a complete revolution in the science of genetic engineering.
The founders, Ben Lamm, a technology and software entrepreneur, and George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, explained how they plan to carry out their experiment.
“Our goal is to make a cold-resistant elephant, but it will look and behave like a mammoth. Not because we are trying to fool anyone, but because we want something that is functionally equivalent to the mammoth and does all the things its species does,” Lamm told National Geographic.
“The plan is not just to bring back the mammoth, but to bring back crossover herds that were successfully rewound in the Arctic region,” added George Church.
For the scientific community, the project raises doubts, since, on one hand, these animals can help conserve permafrost, eliminating trees and compacting the soil, turning the arctic soil into a pasture.
On the other hand, the moss cover in the wooded areas of the Arctic today is key to the conservation of the environment, the arrival of these giants would destroy that ecosystem.