Woolly mammoth on verge of resurrection

Woolly mammoth on verge of resurrection, scientists reveal. And they are apparently quite serious about this. (!) From the Guardian:

The woolly mammoth vanished from the Earth 4,000 years ago, but now scientists say they are on the brink of resurrecting the ancient beast in a revised form, through an ambitious feat of genetic engineering.

Speaking ahead of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston this week, the scientist leading the “de-extinction” effort said the Harvard team is just two years away from creating a hybrid embryo, in which mammoth traits would be programmed into an Asian elephant.

“Our aim is to produce a hybrid elephant-mammoth embryo,” said Prof George Church. “Actually, it would be more like an elephant with a number of mammoth traits. We’re not there yet, but it could happen in a couple of years.” (…)

I am particulartly interested in this part of the article:

Church, a guest speaker at the meeting, said the mammoth project had two goals: securing an alternative future for the endangered Asian elephant and helping to combat global warming. Woolly mammoths could help prevent tundra permafrost from melting and releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

“They keep the tundra from thawing by punching through snow and allowing cold air to come in,” said Church. “In the summer they knock down trees and help the grass grow.” [continue]

2 thoughts on “Woolly mammoth on verge of resurrection

  1. This is an unbelievable scientific development that seems simultaneously excitingly futuristic and completely alarming! I’m intrigued that they believe mammoths might be able to mitigate some of the effects of climate change – whoever would have thought?! Thank you for sharing this and for the recent flurry of excellent articles.

    • You’re welcome, Henry! I’m glad you’re still here, and that I found some stuff you like.

      Now that I have the blog auto-posting to Diaspora, I’ve gotten past the ‘post here or post there?’ question that somehow thwarted me. Posting content on a regular basis seems easier now. I don’t know why, but there you go. 🙂

      Your coment about the mammoths reminds me of another thing I meant to blog. I’ll go see if I can find it for you over the next few days.

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