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Woolly mammoths could walk the Earth again if CRISPR startup succeeds


Colossal hopes to help bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction. You’ve heard of startups building computer chips, delivery drones and video chat apps. One called Colossal has a different goal: bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction by 2027 using CRISPR, a revolutionary gene-editing technology .

The plan isn’t to re-create true woolly mammoths, but rather to bring their cold-adapted genetic traits, which include small ears and more body fat, to their elephant cousins, creating a hybrid that can wander the tundra where mammoths haven’t been seen for 10,000 years. Colossal’s co-founders are Chief Executive Ben Lamm, who started five companies before this, and George Church, a Harvard Medical School professor with deep CRISPR expertise. Get the CNET Science newsletter

“Our true North Star is a successful restoration of the woolly mammoth, but also its successful rewilding into interbreeding herds in the Arctic,” Lamm said. “We’re now focusing on having our first calves in the next four to six years.”

It’s an interesting illustration of an imperative sweeping the tech world: Don’t just make money, help the planet, too. Tesla’s mission is to electrify transport to get rid of fossil fuels that hurt Earth. Bolt Threads wants to replace leather […]

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