News

Wooly mammoth could be recreated in two years

Scientists might soon be able to create a hybrid embryo of an elephant and a woolly mammoth, they have said.

The work would be an important step towards the controversial mission to completely resurrecting the long-extinct animal.

That in turn could give rise to the rebirth of a range of creatures that have died out, with only their DNA needed to bring them back to life.

First, scientists hope to be able to create an embryo with features of a mammoth, such as shaggy long hair, thick layers of fat, and cold-adapted blood. Those would be combined with the DNA of an elephant.

With years more work, that embryo could then potentially be used to grow into a living create, bringing the animal back to life.

Eventually, scientists hope that they could nurture the embryo within an artificial womb. They have previously suggested implanting an embryo into an elephant - a move that has been criticised as cruel, since the animal would likely suffer or die during the procedure.

Since the project was started in 2015, researchers have been able to gradually add more edits into an elephant genome from 15 to 45. That means they can add more and more features from mammoth DNA, eventually moving towards a hybrid of the two.

Professor George Church, who heads the Harvard University team, said: "We're working on ways to evaluate the impact of all these edits and basically trying to establish embryogenesis in the lab.

"The list of edits affects things that contribute to the success of elephants in cold environments.

"We already know about ones to do with small ears, sub-cutaneous fat, hair and blood, but there are others that seem to be positively selected."

He added: "Our aim is to produce a hybrid elephant/mammoth embryo. Actually, it would be more like an elephant with a number of mammoth traits.

"We're not there yet, but it could happen in a couple of years."

The woolly mammoth roamed across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America during the last ice age. But it hasn't been around on Earth for 4,500 years - after it was killed off probably as a result of climate change and being hunted into extinction - until now.

Scientists have become more and more excited about bringing the animal back because of revolutionary gene editing techniques that allow them to precisely select pieces of DNA and then re-insert them, despite the fact that specimens have been frozen in Siberian ice for thousands of years.

Topics:  evolution science wooly mammoth



8 things you didn't know you could do at North Straddie

NORTH Stradbroke Island is the perfect getaway whether you plan to stay for a day, a week or even a month.

A whisky-lover's blurprint to Brisbane's best bars

Check out The Gresham for some old-school fine drops.

SCOTCH, Whiskey and Whisky; it all gets a bit confusing.

Your guide to the best Brisbane markets

Enjoy the beautiful offerings of one of Brisbane's many markets.

WHO doesn’t love a good market!?

Ain’t no mountain high enough

No Caption

Brisbane's dishing up the mountain-hiking goods!

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

She's Deb and she's here to help

ACROSS THE BORDERLINE: Deb Frecklington and Tony Perrett join at the dividing line of their electorates.

'Roads, health and council': Woolooga's new MP listening.

UPDATE: NBN responds to criticism of Gympie service

CUT OFF: Roadcraft chief executive officer Sharlene Makin has had a terrible experience with the NBN.

Has Gympie got the worst NBN in Australia?

'We live in a state of autism apartheid'

CONTROVERSY: Pauline Hanson has earned the ire of the public after she said children with disabilities were putting a strain on teachers and schools and should be educated separately.

'We live in a state of autism apartheid'

Local Partners

Millionaire’s riches to rags experiment

Businessman discovers harsh realities of homelessness in new SBS TV series.

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson dead after long illness

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson has died.

Celebrity chef died after battle with an alcohol-related illness

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Britain's Prince Harry.

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Rebel Wilson to give away her defamation payout

Actor Wilson says she won't keep a cent of her defamation payout

What's in store for Nina and Billie on Offspring?

Kat Stewart and Asher Keddie star in season seven of Offspring.

Proudman sisters return, but their lives aren’t slowing down.

What's on the big screen this week

Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager in a scene from the movie Transformers: The Last Knight.

STUDIOS begin to roll out their school holiday offerings.

MOVIE REVIEW: Rough Night is rude, shocking and funny

Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Illana Grazer and Kate McKinnon in a scene from Rough Night.

FOUR best friends reunite for a wild weekend, what could go wrong?

Mining giants in fight that could spell disaster for NQ town

STAND OFF: There are perfectly good homes for workers, but mining company QCoal could be forced to build a camp and the deserted streets and empty houses of Glenden would remain.

How two mining companies could ruin this small town

Home owners settling to make way for Mackay Ring Road

The Clarkson family's home was moved just down the road from their former land at Stotts Road, Te Kowai, which was resumed by TMR.

But some are still clinging on, fighting for a better deal

Three historic M'boro hotels on the market

The Lamington Hotel Motel, Maryborough. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Three historic Maryborough hotels are on the market.

Renters warned about online real estate scam

The scam ad for a property for rent in Albert Park.

Australian renters have been warned about an elaborate scam

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!