A team of researchers from Harvard University has announced that they are very close to bringing the wooly mammoth back to life by inserting its genes into the living cells of an Asian elephant.
According to the scientists, the genes of the mammoth are active again in a very long time, more exactly, more than 4,000 years. These genes will be able to live again inside the skin cells of the Asian elephant.
The researchers said they have not yet transferred all the genetic code of the mammoth into the elephant’s genome.
So far, the scientists managed to insert only 14 genes in the elephant’s skin cells. For this, the scientists used a method called CRISPR, which an acronym for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat”.
George Church, one of the researchers involved in bringing the woolly mammoth back to life, said that his team has succeeded in selecting the 14 sliced genes.
Church explained that they have managed to collect the cells from a mammoth carcass that has been frozen for thousands of years.
According to the researchers, the genes have been selected based on the several factors, such as cold resistance, ear size, the amount of hair the mammoth had, hemoglobin and subcutaneous fat.
The scientists said that they haven’t finished putting everything together yet because the phenotypes have not been decoded yet.
Church explained that if the genes will work according to their plans and if they encourage long hair to grow or fat to accumulate, the scientists will then try to convert the cells into an embryo and raise it inside an artificial womb.
The researchers believe that the ancient woolly mammoth could one day be brought to life. However, they are not certain when that will happen.
The findings of the new research have not been published in a scientific journal yet because there are still many things to be done.
Image Source: britannica
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