TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Have you ever watched the movie “Ice Age” and thought about what it might be like to live among woolly mammoths? Well, a biotech company is looking to make that a reality.
According to biotech company Colossal, scientists are looking to reincarnate the ancient beast from extinction by 2027.
Last year, the Dallas-based firm received $60 million in funding to continue the mammoth gene-editing work that started in 2021. If scientists are successful, Colossal will reintroduce the wooly mammoth to the same ecosystem it once thrived in.
Scientists hope the return of the mammoth 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,” according to a post on Medium.
Colossal said the woolly mammoth’s vast migration patterns are an active part of preserving the health of the Arctic. By bringing the animal back to life, scientists hope to have a beneficial impact on the world’s ecosystem.
According to reports, the biotech company originally wanted to reintroduce the mammoth into Siberia, but may explore other options based on the political standing of the world.
The mammoth’s DNA is a 99.6 percent match of the Asian elephant, which Colossal believes is a good sign they’ll achieve their goal.
Through gene editing, scientists will create an embryo of a woolly mammoth. Scientists will then place a hybrid Asian-Woolly Mammoth embryo into a healthy elephant surrogate.
“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.”
If the company is successful, they plan on reincarnating the thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger next, with help from Australian scientists.