If movies like Jurassic Park have taught us anything, it’s that it is not a good idea to bring extinct animals back to life. However, an article was written about a project called “Woolly Mammoth Revival” led by Harvard geneticist George Church didn’t seem to get the hint. Research on de-extinction, the science of bringing extinct animals back to life, has been progressing significantly in recent years and the woolly mammoth may be the next animal to be brought back to life from extinction. Church’s work so far only focuses on single cells, but the team has been carefully placing mammoth genes into these cells belonging to their closest living relative, the Asian elephant. This will create a sort of hybrid animal that will be comprised mostly of Asian elephant DNA incorporated with mammoth DNA to give it the characteristics of a mammoth.
The rest of the article has a lot more information, more than most people will care to read, but over-all, while I do not agree with reviving the woolly mammoth, I do fully support the processes associated with this project because of the benefits these genetic techniques will have towards living endangered species. Using gene manipulation and “test tube” embryos, science has made great strides in conserving endangered species and further enhancement of such techniques will prove invaluable to these animals’ genetic diversity.