News

Wooly mammoth could be recreated in two years

Scientists might soon be able to create a hybrid embryo of an elephant and a woolly mammoth, they have said.

The work would be an important step towards the controversial mission to completely resurrecting the long-extinct animal.

That in turn could give rise to the rebirth of a range of creatures that have died out, with only their DNA needed to bring them back to life.

First, scientists hope to be able to create an embryo with features of a mammoth, such as shaggy long hair, thick layers of fat, and cold-adapted blood. Those would be combined with the DNA of an elephant.

With years more work, that embryo could then potentially be used to grow into a living create, bringing the animal back to life.

Eventually, scientists hope that they could nurture the embryo within an artificial womb. They have previously suggested implanting an embryo into an elephant - a move that has been criticised as cruel, since the animal would likely suffer or die during the procedure.

Since the project was started in 2015, researchers have been able to gradually add more edits into an elephant genome from 15 to 45. That means they can add more and more features from mammoth DNA, eventually moving towards a hybrid of the two.

Professor George Church, who heads the Harvard University team, said: "We're working on ways to evaluate the impact of all these edits and basically trying to establish embryogenesis in the lab.

"The list of edits affects things that contribute to the success of elephants in cold environments.

"We already know about ones to do with small ears, sub-cutaneous fat, hair and blood, but there are others that seem to be positively selected."

He added: "Our aim is to produce a hybrid elephant/mammoth embryo. Actually, it would be more like an elephant with a number of mammoth traits.

"We're not there yet, but it could happen in a couple of years."

The woolly mammoth roamed across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America during the last ice age. But it hasn't been around on Earth for 4,500 years - after it was killed off probably as a result of climate change and being hunted into extinction - until now.

Scientists have become more and more excited about bringing the animal back because of revolutionary gene editing techniques that allow them to precisely select pieces of DNA and then re-insert them, despite the fact that specimens have been frozen in Siberian ice for thousands of years.

Topics:  evolution science wooly mammoth


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Woman injured while riding the Zipper at Show Whitsunday

Ride operators assist an elderly woman injured on the Zipper at Show Whitsunday last night.

Woman injured while riding the Zipper.

Bald Eagles swoop into Bali

BIG TRIP: The over 47s Bald Eagles team members who participated in the Bali 9s AFL masters carnival and came runner-up.

Whitsunday team claims division title in Bali.

Get running without working up a sweat

GET INVOLVED: Volunteers staff a water station during last year's Running Festival.

Airlie Beach Festival on hunt for volunteers.

Local Partners

Five die in horror 14 hours on Queensland roads

UPDATE: TWO men are fighting for lives after their car went over the side of a popular southeast Queensland driving spot.

Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Country music stars coming to Ipswich

Ipswich will get it's country on when The Country Superstars Tribute Show hits town on Friday, June 30 at Brothers Leagues Club.

A UNIQUE tribute show will bring a bit of country into the city.

Shoes make difference to kids in Zambia

MANY SHOES: Toowoomba Grammar School's Adrian Irwin and Fairholme College's Libby Stumer with shoes collected for children in Zambia.

Students are making a difference, creating a new project

VIRAL VIDEO: Campaign to bring beloved nanny to Maryborough

Can Maryborough get Dame Julie Andrews to come to the Mary Poppins Festival.

King Judah through to The Voice grand final

Judah Kelly is through to the grand final of The Voice.

NOT even illness could stop the Laidley singer from performing.

Ipswich man plays poker with Terminator and Rambo

Former Ipswich resident Glenn Twiddle with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

HE GREW up in Bundamba and is now on the A-list

The top 10 TV shows that need to end

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in a scene from season five of House of Cards.

It’s now time to cull some of our favourites

Prince Harry reveals he wanted to leave the royal family

Prince Harry was the center of attention during his trip to Sydney.

Prince Harry has revealed he “wanted out” as a Royal

Why streaming movies will cost more from July 1

Australians can expect to pay more for streaming services such as Netflix when the new taxes kick in.

The new taxes from July 1 won’t hurt the MPs’ big pay rise

Ocean views up for sale at Bargara Rise

LAND RELEASE: Rob Sergiacomi on site at the Bargara Rise development off Watsons Road Bargara.

More ocean-view land comes on the market at Bargara

Blueberries help property market boom

RURAL MARKET: Elders sale agent Terry Deefholts, Norman Arkan and rural sales agent Angus McDonald.

Growth in the rural property market

Gateway to $3 billion, 4800 home new Coast city opens

The start of Peter Crosby Way at Sippy Downs, the northern access into the Harmony master-planned community at Palmview.

Palmview's $3b master-planned community of Harmony

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!