Mad Science Update: Geneticists working to create elephant-mammoth hybrid within 6 years

Sep 14th

These dudes are hoping their creature will fight against -- wait for it -- climate change.

"Our goal is to make a cold-resistant elephant, but it is going to look and behave like a mammoth," said Harvard geneticist Dr. George Church. "Not because we are trying to trick anybody, but because we want something that is functionally equivalent to the mammoth, that will enjoy its time at -40C, and do all the things that elephants and mammoths do, in particular knocking down trees."

Church teamed up with tech entrepreneur Ben Lamm to form a company called Colossal, "a new bioscience and genetics company which intends to bring several extinct species back to life," according to The Independent.

Those behind the project, which received £11 million in initial funding, hope this elephant-mammoth hybrid "could help slow climate change by stomping out thin, low-oxygen trees and exposing healthy, carbon-trapping grasses to restore the Arctic tundra."

I'm not gonna pretend like I know if/how in tarnation this works; so, here's the rest of the report:

Researchers plan to do this by taking skin cells from Asian elephants, which are threatened with extinction, and putting them into stem cells with frozen mammoth DNA to create an embryo.

The team hopes to have its first set of calves within the next six years if all goes to plan.

These embryos will then be carried to full term by a surrogate mother or in an artificial womb in a laboratory.

So, what's the next project, huh? Dinosaurs? Sure, why not? Let's put 'em all in a theme park while we're at it!

I've seen how that ends...

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