(RightIsRight.co) – Every year, somewhere between 200 and 100,000 species become extinct, slowly chipping away at the earth’s biodiversity. Some scientists hope to combat this loss by bringing back extinct species and reintroducing them into the wild, starting with the Woolly Mammoth.
On Monday, September 20, a company named Colossal announced it received $15 million in donations towards bringing back the woolly mammoth species. The company plans to edit elephant DNA to match that of the extinct mammoth. Then, researchers hope they will be able to create embryos of these mammoth-like elephants, eventually remaking the whole wooly mammoth population.
The New York Times shared more about the company’s ambitions:
With $15 million in private funding, a new company called Colossal is trying to edit elephant DNA to genetically resurrect the woolly mammoth, thousands of years after it went extinct. https://t.co/LKVWpcfzqe
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 13, 2021
While many researchers shared their excitement about this “major milestone” in science and technology, the proposal also introduced ethical questions. Who gets a say in where researchers release these potentially lethal creatures, and is it even humane to edit an elephant’s DNA to reproduce a long-lost species?
In support of this project, George Church, a biologist at Harvard Medical School, believes the Woolly Mammoth could help solve global warming. He believes the extinct mammals may have helped maintain arctic grasslands which have now turned into moss-covered tundra during their absence.
While many scientists remain skeptical that Colossal will be able to pull off this feat, there’s little doubt the company will learn a lot about DNA during its endeavor, how to manipulate it, and just what it takes to recreate a species.
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