A US startup has announced plans to bring woolly mammoths, or animals like them, back from extinction and into the frosty landscape of the Siberian tundra. The proposed project is exciting, with laudable ambitions — but whether it is a practical strategy for conservation remains unclear. While the prospect of reviving extinct species has long been discussed, advances in genome editing have now brought such dreams close to reality. But just because we have the tools to resurrect mammoth-like creatures, does this mean we should?
- Trying to help slow the supposed Global warming by “playing god”.
- Attempting to recreate the woolly mammoths by altering the genome and using Asian elephant embryos
- Hoping they will restore the Siberian tundra by tramping down the tundra and saving the permafrost
“Colossal proposes to use CRISPR gene-editing technology to modify Asian elephant embryos (the mammoth’s closest living relative) so their genomes resemble those of woolly mammoths.”