Jurassic Park in Real Life? Scientists One Step Closer to Bringing Back Woolly Mammoths 

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Jurassic Park in Real Life? Scientists One Step Closer to Bringing Back Woolly Mammoths 

| Updated: March 7, 2024 19:58

Scientists One Step Closer to Bringing Back Woolly Mammoths 

Colossal Biosciences, a company dedicated to de-extinction, announced a significant advancement in their efforts to bring back the woolly mammoth. Scientists successfully reprogrammed elephant skin cells into a state resembling embryonic stem cells, marking a crucial step towards their goal.

“This achievement represents a major milestone in our de-extinction endeavors,” said Dr. George Church, co-founder of Colossal and a renowned geneticist at Harvard Medical School. “We believe this paves the way for the creation of Asian elephants possessing key woolly mammoth traits, potentially including thick fur, increased fat storage, and even tusks.”

The woolly mammoth, an elephant species that roamed the Earth millions of years ago, went extinct thousands of years back. Colossal Biosciences utilizes cutting-edge genetic and cloning technologies to revive extinct species like the mammoth.

The reprogramming technique, established nearly two decades ago, involves converting mature cells, like skin cells, into versatile stem cells capable of transforming into any cell type within the body. These “induced pluripotent stem cells” (iPSCs) hold the potential to create elephants with desired mammoth characteristics.

However, the journey to creating roaming herds of woolly mammoths remains extensive. “Our focus is not on perfect replication,” clarified Dr. Church. “We aim to create an improved version with additional traits, such as resistance to specific viruses currently impacting elephant populations.”

Despite the scientific feat, Colossal Biosciences faces ethical concerns. Critics raise questions about the potential consequences of introducing these animals into a changed world, including the risk of them succumbing to climate change or falling victim to malicious actors if the technology falls into the wrong hands.

Colossal co-founder Ben Lamm emphasizes transparency, stating, “Open communication allows the public to hold us accountable and ensures responsible use of our technology.”

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