Image credit – Yathin S Krishnappa/Wikipedia

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Over the years various animals have gone extinct, but it seems that thanks to science, we could eventually bring them back. In fact it seems that a group of scientists at Harvard are apparently close to resurrecting the wooly mammoth, a creature that has been extinct from Earth for at least the past 4,000 years.

According to Professor George Church, the scientist that is leading the “de-extinction” efforts, “Our aim is to produce a hybrid elephant-mammoth embryo. Actually, it would be more like an elephant with a number of mammoth traits. We’re not there yet, but it could happen in a couple of years.” Basically it won’t be 100% woolly mammoth, but would instead contain traits of the animal.

The team had previously stopped their efforts at the cell stage, but are apparently moving towards creating embryos right now, and are said to be about 2 years away from creating the hybrid embryo. Now before you get too excited (or too concerned) about possibly seeing a new animal, the team is apparently years away from any serious attempt at producing a living creature.

However despite this exciting progress, some have raised questions regarding the ethical nature of the project. Church claims that these modifications are meant to help preserve the Asian elephant which is endangered, but some are wondering how other elephants might greet this new hybrid should a living animal actually be created.

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