Millions Raised in Effort to ‘Bring Back’ Extinct Woolly Mammoth

Millions Raised in Efforts to 'Bring Back' Extinct Wooly Mammoth

(ReliableNews.org) – Imagine a future where formerly extinct animals roam the earth again as part of an effort to combat the effects of climate change. That’s exactly what the founders of a new biotech startup company intend to do.

Colossal Laboratories and Biosciences co-founders Ben Church, Ph.D., and Ben Lamm announced on September 13 they raised $15 million in seed money to fund a bold project to resurrect woolly mammoths, an extinct species of warm-blooded elephant-like mammals that roamed the arctic circle until about 4,000 million years ago.

Church, a renowned expert in genomics, works as a professor at MIT and Harvard University. He has focused his research over the past decade on engineering a hybrid embryo carrying the DNA of Asian elephants and woolly mammoths. He uses a sophisticated gene-editing device called a Crispr to achieve that goal. Church plans to inseminate the embryo into a larger African elephant to carry the embryo to term.

Church and Lamm hope to repopulate the Arctic Circle’s Mammoth Steppe with these new creatures in about 15 years. The Mammoth Steppe was the world’s largest ecosystem at one time, and scientists believe that woolly mammoths played a huge role in the region’s stability. The two men hope that repopulating that landmass can eventually offset some of the effects of climate change. If successful, the project could alter global weather patterns enough to make a positive change; or at least, that’s the hope.

Colossal doesn’t plan on limiting its endeavors to mammoths. It hopes to repopulate the world with other extinct species to create a healthier planet for all.

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