Scientists have been trying to bring back the woolly mammoth for years, but now it’s actually really close. Like, 5 years away close.
Scientists from the Sakha Republic’s mammoth museum and Japan’s Kinki University have found well-preserved marrow in a mammoth thigh bone in Siberia, buried deep beneath some permafrost. The marrow has been preserved so well that the DNA could be used to replace the nuclei in elephant egg cells, thus creating mammoth embryos.
The plan is to plant these embryos into an elephant’s womb, which would grow it until birth. Mammoths are considerably larger than elephants, but the animals are similar enough so that this would work. At least they hope.
This is, understandably, a pretty controversial move. Some say we should just leave mammoths alone and let the poor animals rest in peace, while others say it was humans who drove them to extinction and we should give them the opportunity to make a comeback. What do you think?
I would find it fascinating to be able to see a real live woolly mammoth, but unless the first one to pop out of an elephant is named Mr. Snuffleupagus, I really don’t want anything to do with this scheme.