The fifth floor of George Church’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School is off limits to visitors. “That’s where the mammoths and Neanderthals live,” the genetics professor says with a straight face. He’s joking, obviously, because there aren’t any Neanderthals. Mammoths? Not yet, but it may not be too long, he says.
Church and his team are aiming to do what many hitherto believed — and some still do — is impossible: bring a dead species back to life. Most woolly mammoths died out roughly 10,000 years ago amid a changing climate and possibly widespread hunting by humans. Isolated populations continued to roam on St Paul Island in the Bering Sea and Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean — but the species finally became extinct about
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