Mammoth’s to return to the surface of the earth thanks to science.

 

Thanks to the efforts of 20th Century Fox, mammoths have become a loveable and comical figure amongst children and lovers of animated film. Ice Age brings Manny the mammoth to life as the only mammoth left in the world, before reuniting him across 4 movies with the remainder of his species. It is truly a heart-warming tale, and Manny as a character has been received warmly by children and adults alike. Almost unbelievably, it might soon be possible that mammoths will be present on more than just our TV screens – they may actually roam our planet once more thanks to the clever people at Harvard University.

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For the past two years, Professor George Church and his team have been working to recreate the mammoth’s DNA. It is hoped that this DNA, which has been mimicked from DNA found preserved in Arctic permafrost, will be spliced into the genome of an Indian elephant embryo. The result will probably be more like an elephant that has mammoth traits – such as a shaggy coat and anti-freeze blood, but this is a huge step in reversing the effects of extinction, and will result in the birth of an animal closer to a mammoth than anything else on the planet.

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Professor Church and his team say that this result could take effect in as little as a couple of years. The whole process would take place in an artificially created womb, so as not to put the life of a female elephant at risk. This is especially important considering that Indian elephants are an endangered species. While this sounds like something from a Victorian science fiction novel – think The Island of Dr Moreaux, or Frankenstein – in reality, the technology and scientific thinking behind the idea could have real-world implications for many people.

Age-reversal could actually become a thing due to the new developments that have been occurring in genetic engineering, in as little as the next ten years. It seems unlikely now, but if science has the potential to bring back a mammal that disappeared from the face of the earth 4,500 years ago, straightening out a few wrinkles suddenly doesn’t seem so impossible…

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