Friday, December 4, 2020

Wooly Mammoth mutations found could lead to resurrection


Unlike modern elephants, wooly mammoths were designed for the cold.  They had hairy coats, layers of fat, and small ears to minimize heat loss.   With samples from remaining mammoth specimens and modern elephants, scientists have been able to find the genetic mutations that result in these traits.   With these findings, geneticists believe that they could engineer an elephant that could survive extremely cold temperatures.   

George Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School is already working on "resurrecting" the mammoth so to speak.  Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology genes are able to be edited easily.  He has identified 14 genes that may be correlated to cold tolerance.  This may be the beginning of bringing back the wooly mammoth or modifying Asian elephants to have mammoth qualities.   An actual mammoth-like elephant roaming the arctic is years away, but the genome research is incredibly interesting. 



  1. I didn't know doing something like this was possible until now. The discovery of CRISPIR has made changing or editing genes so much easier. Maybe this technique could also be used in similar ways with other extinct species too.

  2. I found this article interesting because I know that we are able to clone actual animals that exist today. However to clone an animal of prehistoric descent I would believe its much harder, although I would love to see this happen.

  3. I knew crisper was a powerful tool ever since I wrote a research paper on it. I figured something like this would come about one day. Im extremely excited to see if it truly works or not. If it does it would be a great example of how crisper can be used.