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Will mammoths save us from climate change?

Will mammoths save us from climate change?

American scientists want to bring back the mammoth. It will not be a true native mammoth, but rather a hybrid of an elephant and a mammoth that has to survive in the bitter cold.

Scientists want to release the animal on the Siberian tundra because they believe they can combat climate change. “Scientists want to see if they can turn present-day Siberia into an ecosystem as it looked about 30,000 years ago,” said Bram Langfield.

From the swampy landscape to the grassy plain strewn with weeds

Currently, the tundra is a swampy area that is melting at a rapid rate and a lot of carbon dioxide is being released from it. “30,000 years ago, it was a huge huge grassy steppe, a great grassy plain. Very productive and with millions of great grazing animals. There are no trees, but a lot of grasses. And if that switch could be made, this carbon source, the melting of the tundra. It can be a carbon sink, where carbon dioxide is actively stored, contributing to slowing climate change,” explains Langfield.

American scientists have received investments of $12 million. And if you look at the plans of the Americans, it does not seem that this is a very large amount. “The reality is that the most important gene-editing technology, CRISPR, is up and running. We know it. Those cells that have modified genes in them are also in there. The big obstacle right now is the artificial uterus that they think they need.” BV . News.

Mammoth hybrid at 5 years old

Another option is to transfer the embryo to an Asian elephant. Langfield: “Working with a live surrogate mother is not entirely uncontested, as they are both endangered species.” Therefore, it is questionable whether this is desirable according to the values.

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De Langeveld doesn’t know if these wild plans will ever become a reality: “Researchers are talking about the first hybrid baby mammoths within five years. Now, of course, these deadlines are often valued favorably.” But Langfield agrees that they’re not starting from scratch, because the technology is already partially there, in short: scientists may just succeed.