The woolly mammoth was a very large elephant-like mammal that lived on Earth several thousand years ago. Some mammoths grew to be four meters high and the largest weighed almost nine tons. Both male and female mammoths had very large tusks and walked on every continent except Australia and South America. Sadly, these giant creatures became extinct.
The last mammoths lived as recently as 4,000 years ago and their well-preserved bodies can be found frozen in the tundra of Siberia. Because their bodies were so well protected from decay in the permafrost, their genetic material remained intact.
Scientists at Harvard University are researching ways to bring the mammoth back to life. According to these researchers, it is possible to program the Asian elephants’ genes with a mammoth’s genetic material. This is can be done because of a recent scientific developments in gene editing using a new tool called Crispr. Crispr allows scientists to cut out specific genes and replace them with different ones. They estimate that we will see a living mammoth in less than 10 years.