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Stem Cells From Asian Elephants Being Used to Create Hybrid Woolly Mammoth

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Colossal Biosciences, a Dallas startup co-founded by George Church, a genetics professor at Harvard University, and Ben Lamm, a serial entrepreneur, say that they are one step closer in bringing wooly mammoth's back to life.

The pair have been working on using stem cells from Asian elephants to recreate the animal that went extinct about 10,000 years ago. The company says its goal is to eventually preserve endangered animals and use some of them in the Arctic to combat the effects of climate change.

The company printed its scientific research through the preprint service bioRxiv, but it has yet to be peer-reviewed. Company officials say they hope to complete that step soon.

Who Is Colossal Biosciences?

Times Magazine has named Colossal Biosciences one of the 100 Most Influential Companies in 2023. They were also named as a technology party of the World Economic Forum in 2022, which awarded them the Genomics Innovation of the Year.

Church says that this project was put on a back burner while he worked on developing CRISPR, which allows scientists to turn a pig's organs into kidneys that will work in humans.

In that case, the team created over 42 genetic changes. Now, they have very healthy pigs who are donating organs to Massachusetts General Hospital who hopes to begin using them in preclinical trials soon.



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