American Billionaire Invests To Bring Woolly Mammoth Back To Life

Posted: Jul 1 2017, 9:12pm CDT | by , Updated: Jul 1 2017, 9:20pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
American Billionaire Invests to Bring Woolly Mammoth Back to Life
Image via Phys.com

The founder of Paypal Peter Thiel has reportedly invested $100,000 in the research effort to resurrect woolly mammoth

Woolly mammoths went extinct about 4,000 years ago. But recently Harvard researchers claimed that they could revive the ancient beast by using DNA of elephant. They say woolly mammoth could be brought back to life in as little as two-year timeframe if proper technology is available.

Thanks to the cooperation of an American billionaire, researchers have now started work on their ambitious plan. According to MIT Technology Review, PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel has invested $100,000 in the effort to resurrect the woolly mammoth.

The resulting animal would be a hybrid creature or what researchers call ‘mammophant’ – an elephant that will have all the traits of woolly mammoth, including shaggy hair, short ears and thick layers of fat.

“Our aim is to produce a hybrid elephant-mammoth embryo. 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.” Harvard professor George Church who is leading the "de-extinction" team said in an earlier statement.

The team has successfully combined 45 mammoth genes into Asian elephant cells since the inception of the project in 2015. The donation was also made in the same year but it was not reported until now. If successful, it will mark a turning point in the revival of woolly mammoths as well as many other extinct animals like dinosaurs and related species.

“De-extincting” the mammoth has become a realistic prospect because of revolutionary gene editing techniques that allow the precise selection and insertion of DNA from specimens frozen over millennia in Siberian ice.” Church said.

The details of funding and research effort to resurrect woolly mammoth have been presented in a new book by Ben Mezrich called Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures.

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