This company is trying to revive the woolly mammoth species, which went extinct around 4,000 years ago. Although it won’t be the exact species, the scientists plan to genetically engineer thousands of these animals that can roam the Arctic to help combat climate change.

Source: FOX 13 Tampa Bay/Youtube

The company, Colossal Biosciences, is a start-up that wants to resurrect an animal that resembles the woolly mammoth by creating a genetically engineered Asian elephant that is cold resistant and has the biological traits of the extinct species.

The lead behind the science is renowned geneticist George Church who also leads synthetic biology research efforts at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Church’s long-time dream of bringing back the woolly mammoth began when he teamed up with tech entrepreneur Ben Lamm to create Colossal Biosciences.

Although it will be difficult to create a hybrid elephant with traits from a wooly mammoth, Church told Newsweek that they plan to use advanced gene editing technology. Asian elephants are the closest living relative of the woolly mammoth, sharing around 99.6 percent of DNA.

“Indeed, the Asian elephant and the woolly mammoth are closer to each other than either of them is to the African,” Church told Newsweek.

The company is trying to achieve this to reintroduce them to the wild to restore the health of the Arctic environment. They believe that bringing back this animal will help slow down the melting of the Arctic permafrost. In their time, mammoths were vital in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Mammoths can help store grassland that can help prevent thaw and release of greenhouse gasses. Grassland is better at reflecting sunlight than trees in the Arctic because they are lighter in color, Newsweek reported.

The company plans to focus on regions of the Arctic that have the highest carbon content because more methane will be released if the permafrost thaws more in these areas.

“The carbon content of these carbon-rich areas add up to more than the rest of the forests of the world put together,” Church told Newsweek.

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!