Scientists Are Inching Closer to Bringing Back the Woolly Mammoth


De-extinction startup Colossal Biosciences wants to bring back the woolly mammoth. Well, not the woolly mammoth exactly, but an Asian elephant gene-edited to give it the fuzzy hair and layer of blubber that allowed its close relative to thrive in sub-zero environments.

To get to these so-called “functional mammoths,” Colossal’s scientists need to solve a whole bunch of challenges: making the right genetic tweaks, growing edited cells into fully formed baby functional mammoths, and finding a space where these animals can thrive. It’s a long, uncertain road, but the startup has just announced a small breakthrough that should ease some of the way forward.

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