Credit: Check The Science
Mammoths became extinct thousands of years ago, however with the advancement in modern technology scientists claim they are only two years away from bringing the woolly mammoth species back from the dead.
The hairy animal is believed to have last lived in the tundra of Siberia before our human ancestors probably hunted them into extinction.
There is a project to bring back the mammoth and only within two years the nearest possible thing to a mammoth could be created.
If the scientist succeeds then this would be a hybrid between an Asian elephant and a mammoth – And perhaps a good name for this animal could be ‘Mamophant’.
Credit: Check The Science
As reported in the Guardian, the team are currently at the cell stage, where they are experimenting with many various combinations of mammoth and elephant genes. The embryos have not yet been created, but according to the project leader, they are just two years away from being cultured.
However, it would be “many years” before any of these animals will be allowed, or merely able, to grow into adults.
This nevertheless means that when they are fully grown, these beasts will not be real mammoths, but hybrids – essentially very hairy elephant-like creatures, if the embryos are indeed based on the high-latitude varieties.
But based on the quality of the genes being spliced and mixed around, they would look more like an Asian elephant than their extinct cousins, also they would have smaller ears, a substantial layer of subcutaneous fat, and cold climate-adapted blood. This suggests that they’d be “housed” in northern climes, just like old times.
It will not be an easy task to turn one of these embryos into a grown-up mammophant, so the team note that they would first grow it within an artificial womb instead of placing it in a female elephant as a surrogate mother. At this moment this method has not been tested, so it has not been proven if it would work, but the team has decided to go down this route so as not to risk any members of endangered elephant species.
The project has caused some ethical concerns; especially from those who believe that man should not be playing God. It would be fair to say that no one can know how today’s animals will react to seeing mammophants traipsing through the wilderness. Personally, I think we will find the answer to this question sooner than we think.
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