Researchers at Colossal Biosciences, which bills itself as “the world’s first company to resurrect extinct species,” have created stem cells that will accelerate the achievement of their main goal – the resurrection of the woolly mammoth. The team reports that the cells created are iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) that can be reprogrammed to develop into any other cell type. iPSC is widely used in the field of bioengineering and for the treatment of certain diseases.

The cells created by the scientists are the first engineered elephant cells, which were transferred to the state of an embryo, into three germ layers – that is, all kinds of cells necessary for the reproduction of a mammoth were formed. In the past, all such attempts have failed, so this breakthrough is invaluable for the future of elephant reproductive technologies and for cell modeling of mammoth phenotypes.

The woolly mammoth isn’t Colossal Biosciences’ only ambitious project. In addition to it, local scientists hope to resurrect the Tasmanian tiger and dodo. Researchers from other companies are also trying to bring back from zoological oblivion the heather grouse and the passenger pigeon, birds exterminated by humans more than a hundred years ago. Researchers from Colossal Biosciences, however, specify that, if this project is successful, their mammoth will not be quite 100% mammoth – but it will resemble it in appearance, have shaggy fur and will be resistant to cold.

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