The American company Colossal, presented this Monday, raised the challenge that woolly mammoths, a species extinct four thousand years ago, tread the arctic soil again.
“Colossal to launch a practical de-extinction model and will be the first company to apply advanced genetic modification techniques to reintegrate the woolly mammoth in the arctic tundra“the company said in a statement.
De-extinction, the concept of creating an animal similar to an extinct species from genetics, is not unanimous between the scientific community and some researchers seriously doubt its feasibility or worry about the risks of its application.
Created by entrepreneur Ben Lamm and geneticist George Church, lColossal Company Will Try To Insert DNA Sequences From Woolly Mammoths, obtained from remains preserved on Siberian soil, in the genome of Asian elephants, to create a hybrid species.
The DNA of Asian elephants and woolly mammoths is 99.6% similarColossal says on its website.
The creation of these hybrid pachyderms and their subsequent reintroduction into the tundra should allow “restoring lost ecosystems that could help slow or even reverse the effects of climate change,” predicts the company.
Genetically modified woolly mammoths could, in particular, “breathe new life into Arctic grasslands,” which Colossal says capture carbon dioxide and remove methane, two greenhouse gases.
The biotech company has managed to raise 15 million dollars in private funds to achieve this goal, received with skepticism by some experts.
“There are many problems that are going to arise from this process.”biologist Beth Saphiro told The New York Times.
“This is not a de-extinction. There will never be mammoths on earth again. If it works, it will be a chimerical elephant, a totally new, synthetic and genetically modified organism.“Tori Herridge, a biologist and paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London, warned on Twitter.
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