Are you planning Törööö – or are you just making a big fuss?
Scientists want to bring the woolly mammoth, which has been extinct for several thousand years, back to life. Several newspapers unanimously report on this. According to this, the company Colossal, which specializes in genetic research, is said to have collected 15 million US dollars (the equivalent of around 12.7 million euros) for this coup.
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The plan looks like this: The researchers want to cross well-preserved mammoth DNA from the eternal ice with that of Asian elephants. The embryos should be carried artificially or in surrogate mother animals. If all goes well, the scientists expect the first mammoth elephant babies in six years.
The resulting shaggy mixture with long hair is to be relocated to the tundra. This is a barren steppe south of the Arctic, where the thermometer rarely climbs above zero degrees.
“Our goal is to build a cold-resistant elephant, but it will look and act like a mammoth. Not because we’re trying to cheat anyone, but because we want something that is functionally equivalent to the mammoth. An animal that enjoys its time at minus 40 degrees and does all the things that elephants and mammoths do – especially pushing trees, ”George Church told dem „Guardian“. The Harvard professor is a co-founder of the research company Colossal.
If you believe the scientists, the resurrection of the mammoth primarily serves the environment. On the one hand, this should strengthen the endangered population of Asian elephants. On the other hand, the reintroduction of the mammoth hybrids helps the tundra habitat, which accounts for five percent of the earth’s total land area, and thus the fight against climate change.
Other scientists doubt the plans. Victoria Herridge, evolutionary biologist at the Natural History Museum in London, called the plans “justifications” that are “implausible”. “The scope of this experiment is enormous. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of mammoths, each of which takes years to grow up. ”Ecology professor Gareth Phoenix warned of the“ unintended, harmful consequences ”of such a revival.
The plan to let the extinct animals trample the earth again is not new. Appropriate approaches existed ten years ago. What is new is the high amount that is to be invested in the project.
Time will tell whether this time really Törööö.