Scientists working to resurrect dinosaurs, extinct animals

Natasha Kirtchuk

i24NEWS Reporter | @natasharaquel_

3 min read
Illustration: Woolly mammoth
Handout / Beth Zaiken/Centre for Palaeogenetics. / AFPIllustration: Woolly mammoth

'In the minds of many, this creature is gone forever, but not in the minds of our scientists, nor the labs of our company'

Have you ever wished you could see a dinosaur in person? Well, one tech company is on a mission to resurrect some of the world’s oldest creatures, including the woolly mammoth, the Tasmanian tiger, and even the beloved dodo bird. 

The Texas-based firm Colossal Biosciences has received hundreds of millions of dollars from venture capitalists to "de-extinct" these animals with the expertise of world-renowned geneticists. How? By using existing animals. 

An Asian elephant's DNA matches that of a mammoth by 99.6 percent, which Colossal thinks is a positive sign that it will succeed in its mission. Scientists will use gene editing to produce a woolly mammoth embryo. A healthy elephant surrogate will then be injected with an embryo hybrid of an Asian and a Woolly Mammoth.

AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File
AP Photo/Matt Dunham, FileA rare fragment of a Dodo femur bone is displayed for photographs next to an image of a member of the extinct bird species at Christie's auction house's premises in London, England.

“In the minds of many, this creature is gone forever,” the company stated. “But not in the minds of our scientists, nor the labs of our company. We’re already in the process of the de-extinction of the Woolly Mammoth. Our teams have collected viable DNA samples and are editing the genes that will allow this wonderful megafauna to once again thunder through the Arctic.”

According to a Medium article, scientists are hoping that the mammoth's reappearance will “bring back the balance to the artic grasslands by allowing the growth of these plants, and restoring a surface of snow that reflects the sun’s radiation."

Colossal says that the woolly mammoth's extensive travel habits actively contribute to maintaining the Arctic's ecological balance. Therefore, scientists hope to positively affect the global ecosystem by reviving the animal.

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