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Woolly Mammoth could be back from Extinction within Two years: Harvard Researchers
Wooly Mammoths could be back from extinction within two years as per Harvard University research team working on a major resurrection project. Genetic research experts have been working for the past two year on the project at Harvard University research labs. The team has been working on recreating DNA blueprint of Wooly Mammoths. While many geneticist are excited about this groundbreaking project, some have raised ethical issues about recreating Wooly Mammoths.
The research team led by geneticist Professor George Church has taken DNA from mammoth remains that were persevered under Arctic permafrost. The research team will actually be creating a mammoth-elephant hybrid as they will splice mammoth genes into the genome of an elephant embryo.
The team of Harvard researchers has been using CRISPR precision gene editing tool. Since the research team started working on the project, they have performed nearly 45 edits and have spliced mammoth DNA into the elephant genome. To provide more features from Wooly Mammoth to their new hybrid species, the research team will have to perform thousands of edits. CRISPR technique has opened up new avenues in gene editing and creation of hybrid species.
A report published by The Telegraph informed, “Lab tests have already shown that cells function normally with mammoth and elephant DNA and the scientists now have ambitious plans to grow a mammoth embryo within an artificial womb rather than recruit a female elephant as a surrogate mother.”
Professor Church said, “The list of edits affects things that contribute to the success of elephants in cold environments. We already know about ones to do with small ears, sub-cutaneous fat, hair and blood, but there are others that seem to be positively selected.”
While talking to The Guardian, Professor Church said, “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.”
Prof Church informed that the mammoth project had two goals - securing an alternative future for the endangered Asian elephant and helping to combat global warming.