The American company Colossal announced that it intends to invest 15 million dollars, the equivalent of R$ 78 million, to try to revive the woolly mammoth, which disappeared over 4,000 years ago.
The team of scientists led by George Church, from Harvard Medical School, will aim to bring the species back to life so that one day it can be restored to its natural habitat.
Using the genome of the Asian elephant, experts intend to somehow restore the arctic tundra ecosystem. In addition, they seek to combat the climate crisis and help preserve existing and endangered elephant species.
The project received support from Colossal, an institution dedicated to bioscience and genetics research. The company’s founder, technology entrepreneur Ben Lamm, said the intention is to have the first puppies in four or six years.
The geneticist and professor of genetics at Harvard and also founder of the company, George Church, said that the project’s primary steps included analyzing the genomes of 23 living species of elephants and extinct mammoths.
However, unlike the species that disappeared more than 4,000 years ago, the new mammoths may not have fangs, according to the Harvard professor. That’s because researchers plan to try to develop the animal without this trait, so as not to be targets of ivory hunters.
To carry out the project, Church also claimed that his team intends to use an artificial uterus. However, as this is not a viable technology yet, there are possibilities for scientists to use elephants as substitutes.
“Editing (DNA), I think, will go well. I think we have a lot of experience with this, but making artificial uteri is not guaranteed. It’s one of the few things that isn’t pure engineering; maybe there’s a little bit of science there also, which always increases uncertainty and lead time,” Church told CNN International.
In general, the scientists conducting the research and investors are optimistic about the results. For the specialist, this study also represents great scientific advances for contemporary society.