World News: Woolly mammoths could be about rise from the dead and stop an Arctic apocalypse thanks to incredible plan to resurrect long-extinct beasts

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WOOLLY mammoths could be about rise from the dead as a remarkable plan to resurrect the long-extinct beast moves a step closer — and in doing may save humankind from disaster.

Pioneering scientist George Church from the elite Harvard University has revealed how a cloning project was on the verge of being able to grow a baby mammoth in a lab.

Could herds of cloned prehistoric beasts help save the planet? Some scientists think they could

His team of leading Harvard scientists have been using DNA recovered from a woolly mammoth found perfectly preserved in ice in Siberia after dying 42,000 years ago.

By merging genes from the long dead mammals with that of elephants their species may be resurrected.

The team are set to publish in the coming weeks scientific papers laying out in a detail their progress their revolutionary technique in creating and implanting mammalian embryos.

Harvard University’s George Church believes if he and his team are successful they will not just change the world, they may help to save it

Speaking to Sun Online, Prof Church said: “We have already revived dozens of genes and are testing them in elephant cells.

“We are focusing on a reviving mammoth genes and making a mammoth/elephant hybrid and help them spread to vast wild, arctic climates.”

Using a genetic engineering called CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing, his team of scientists can “cut and paste” strands of DNA into elephant stem cells with a precision not seen before, paving the way for a woolly mammoth embryo. 

‘Lyuba’, a 42,000 year-old baby woolly mammoth which was discovered in 2007 by reindeer herders in Siberia almost completely intact
Frozen remains of two more woolly mammoths, long extinct elephants in the Ice Age uncovered from the Siberian permafrost in 2008

Prof Church said he wants to then grow a hybrid woolly mammoth/elephant hybrid within an artificial womb rather than using a female elephant as a surrogate mum. 

It is estimated this will take at least 22 months.

The prof believes this will allow woolly mammoths herds to begin once more plodding about the arctic and while doing so save the world. 

Artificial wombs would be used for a baby mammoth and have already been used to grow lambs as shown here in a technique revealed last year

Along with other measures, it’s hoped the woolly mammoths will create an environment which could stop Siberia’s permafrost melting and then releasing billions of tons of greenhouse gases.

The doomsday scenario has been dubbed as the “methane bomb,” because if it happened it would dramatically worsen climate change, melting the ice cap and flooding countries across the world.

And there is clear evidence that this is already happening.

Bubble like mounds have been popping up like a geological plague and some have already burst and spewed out toxic gas which damages the atmosphere.

One of many bubbles in Siberia underneath which methane is building up, ready to blow if the permafrost melts
An aerial view of a crater which jas already blown on the Yamal Peninsula, northern Siberia


But the worst of this ticking time bomb has yet to happen.

Much of the methane is still trapped underneath by the permafrost layer which is fast disappearing and threatens to release the gas at any moment. 

An area where this is starting to happen is the Yamal Peninsula. 

Shocking aerial footage has revealed 1000s of methane-filled craters — which threatens to happen across Russia’s frozen far north.

Ironically melting ice here revealed preserved woolly mammoths that are now being used in the cloning attempts.


7,000 underground gas bubbles poised to ‘explode’ creating huge Arctic craters

And if the huge furry mammoths/elephant hybrids were to be brought into being, Prof Church said they could repopulate these freezing wastelands and help lock in the lethal fumes. 

He said: “Cold-resistant elephants would flatten the in sulating snow and supporting trees in winter and favour the highly heat reflective grass in summer.
“They would also help capture new carbon by enhancing the photosynthetic capacity of the vegetation.”

Should Prof Church and his Harvard uni team successfully clone woolly mammoths they would be taken to an extraordinary Ice Age safari park currently being developed by Russian scientists.

Called the Pleistocene Park, the 20,000 hectare zone in the furthest stretches of remote Siberia has been created in a bid to recreate an Ice-Age ecosystem.

Boffins believe grazing woolly mammoths would also compact the snow in the winter and grass in the summer all of which lowers the permafrost temperature.

Cloned hybrid woolly mammoths would return to the very place they died out

Ice Age ecosystem that could soon be home to cloned woolly mammoths

In a previous interview, park director and scientist Nikita Zimov told Sun Online: “By the time mammoths will be cloned, if they’re cloned and brought to the park, we will have a system.

“They’ll eat shrubs, break down shrubs. They’ll trample down the grass, eat the grass. The park is to show animals can transform the vegetation.”

If the park, which is already populated with bison, horses, moose, reindeer and muskox, is successful it will be expanded across the north in areas where there is a risk of mass methane release.

Russian scientist and his son are trying to recreate the Ice Age in short film, Mammoth

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