{Disarmed} This startup is going to resurrect the mammoth through CRISPR: they plan to do it in six years and have raised millions for it

This startup is going to resurrect the mammoth through CRISPR: they plan to do it in six years and have raised millions for it

Mammoths are one of the best preserved extinct animals throughout history. This is because we have generally found them in areas of Siberia where they have literally remained frozen in time. Now a group of researchers wants to take the next step: take advantage of genetic engineering to resurrect the mammoth from extinction.

The last mammoths are believed to have been extinct around 4,000 years ago . Where they last lived was in the north of the globe, around the Arctic Circle. Resurrecting the mammoth would mean demonstrating the capabilities of genetic engineering to conserve extinct or endangered species.

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The mammoth genome is actually already sequenced , we managed to fully sequence it in 2015 and since then, related advances have not stopped emerging. And it is that their DNA has been relatively well preserved compared to that of other animals. A few months ago we saw how a mammoth tusk preserved DNA from billions of years ago . The idea of ​​resurrecting him is in fact not new either .

CRISPR as a tool for resurrection and preservation

CRISPR technology , which has been so revolutionary in biology in recent years, allows the genome of a living being to be modified by extracting parts of the DNA and then inserting them elsewhere. With this idea in mind, part of a mammoth's DNA could be extracted and inserted into elephants. They hope that the result is a hybrid between the two species with sufficient capacities to survive in environments such as the Arctic.

Mammoth

Unlike Jurassic Park, the goal here is not to put on a show with an extinct species. According to researchers at Colossal (the startup behind this), they seek to resurrect the mammoth to repopulate areas of the planet where it previously lived and are now abandoned.

«When we discovered CRISPR, I said to myself: 'this is going to be crazy in biology' and then absolutely nothing happened»: Francis Mojica In xiaomist.com «When we discovered CRISPR, I said to myself: 'this is going to be crazy in biology' and then absolutely nothing happened»: Francis Mojica

Likewise, the same CRISPR techniques could be used in the future to stabilize threatened species that have not yet gone extinct. By editing DNA, it would be possible to offer certain species better characteristics that help them survive and adapt to the living conditions of their environment. At the moment Colossal has $ 15 million raised to do so, and a few years of research ahead of us before we see a mammoth-elephant hybrid roaming the Arctic.

Via | STAT

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The news This startup is going to resurrect the mammoth through CRISPR: they plan to do it in six years and have raised millions for it was originally published in xiaomist.com by Cristian Rus .

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