De-Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth



Image: Ben Lamm (left) and Dr. George Church. (Colossal)

Texas-based start-up Colossal Biosciences, is working on an ambitious plan to resurrect the legendary woolly mammoth from its frozen Arctic grave. Colossal, the brainchild of Ben Lamm, a successful entrepreneur and ecological conservationist, is fully committed to repopulate the Arctic tundra back to its prehistoric glory days, woolly mammoths and all.

By partnering with Dr. George Church - a leading pioneer in genomics science over at Harvard University - Lamn will attempt to geo-engineer the Siberian landscape to accommodate extinct species in an effort to stave off the ever-increasing and potentially irreversible effects of climate change and animal depopulation. The logistics behind the novel project call for a two-pronged approach; where a human-free sanctuary region is selected prior to the reintroduction of "cold-tolerant, lost animal species."

Assuming President Putin is blasé to the idea of an American biotech company establishing an experimental Jurassic Park in Russia's backyard, the enterprise is not without its share of seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Critics of the project not only question whether it can be done in the first place, but also express their concern about bringing back to life a population of prehistoric pachyderms and other classes of megafauna into a modern, man-oriented ecosystem.

Lamn, for his part, is doing everything in his power to address these concerns by having a team of ethicists review the proposal. In a statement to The Debrief, Lamn expressed the importance of a balanced approach of "science with ethics" by emphasizing his commitment to a responsible and ethical colossal undertaking: "It is something we take very seriously, which is why we have a diverse group of scientists, conservationists, and ethicists on our scientific advisory board. George Church also has a bioethicist as part of his lab that oversees the work at Church Lab."