Scientists aim to resurrect mammoths within two years
News of scientists wanting to resurrect mammoths has been circulating in the media for at least several years. Govównie reach us from across the eastern border from a not-so-serious institute ofóIn the scientific former USSR with the support of South Korean scientistsów. But now an eminent geneticist, winner of many prestigious awards, has spoken out on the subjectód, a professor at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Goerge Church.
At the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) convention, Church admitted that he and his team are working on resurrecting the mammoth and will be able to do so within dwóch years. Specifically, it is a hybrid of a woolly mammoth and an Asian elephant. – Our goal is to create an embryoóin mammoth-elephant hybrids – explained.
– In fact, móWe rather think of the elephant, whichóry will have someóre features of the mammoth. The current stage of our work does not yet allow for this, but within dwóch years we will be able to do this – Church said.
Syndromeół scientistów intends to give mammoths a second chance using gene editing techniquesóin CRISPR. CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a system used by bacteria to defend themselves against viruses. It was noticed by Yoshizumi Ishino in the late 1980s. Last century in the genome of Escherichia coli bacteria. The mechanism contains information about the DNA of the virusóin and in combination with a DNA-cutting enzyme – Cas9 endonuclease is a defense system against viruses. While studying this mechanism, it turned out that it can be successfully used by humans to interfere with genes. Read more about this technique in the text: gene editing methodóin CRISPR applied to humans.
Researchers have implemented a 45 gene into the elephant genome thanks to the CRISPR methodóin the mammoth responsible m.in. for thick and long hair, small ears, podskórny adipose tissue or blood adaptation to cold conditionsów. The next step will be to create an embryo using comóelephant rec.
Interestingly, the researchers do not want to use a female elephant so that it is in her uterus that the embryo develops, but want to build an artificial uterus. Teamół led by Professor Church has already made some progress in this direction. They managed to develop a mouse embryo for six days under laboratory conditions.
– We want to perform the procedure outside a living organism. It would be unwise on our part to endanger the female of an endangered species — Church said.
Mammoths became extinct about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Although scientists believe that someóre isolated populations of these animals may have lived longer, about 5,000 years ago. The remains of these animals are found in areas of America PóNorth, Asia and Europe. Also on the territory of Poland.
Why the species became extinct? Scientists present three most likely theories. The first of these mówi that these animals failed to adapt to the climatic changes occurring during this turbulent period. Another mówi that the mammoths fell victim to some disease, whichóra has decimated the species. These animals were eagerly hunted by our ancestors, so the option of human culling of the species is possible.