Colossal Biosciences is hoping to bring Woolly Mammoths back to the present as part of a de-extinction and species preservation project according to a Fortune article from March 9 which reports,
“Mammoths are “like the cuddly version of a velociraptor,” said Colossal founder and Harvard University geneticist George Church in a call announcing the funding. “They’re vegetarian; they’re not threatening.”
The company hopes to fuse the DNA of mammoths that has been frozen in ice for thousands of years with that of modern Asian elephants.
“We’re making the path to de-extinction and species preservation a reality by bringing the planet one step closer to reversing the downward trend of ecosystem degradation and the staggering loss of biodiversity through cutting-edge genetic tools,” said Ben Lamm, cofounder and CEO of Colossal, in a statement. “The technologies and solutions developed through our mammoth restoration project will not only return Arctic elephants to the tundra, but will target larger implications for conservation, science, and humanity.”
At present, the company has already secured $60 million from different investors to boost the technology needed for the project according to a Dallas Morning News article from March 9. In it they say,
“The funding is led by billionaire investor Thomas Tull and San Francisco-based venture capital firm At One Ventures. Other investors include socialite Paris Hilton, Arch Ventures co-founder Robert Nelson, Ethereum blockchain co-founder Charles Hoskinson and a host of growth capital firms.
Colossal now has $75 million in backing to develop software and artificial wombs to advance species preservation and restoration and further develop human genetic technologies.
Ben Lamm, Colossal co-founder and CEO, secured $15 million in seed funding when the company launched five months ago. Lamm teamed up with one of genome sequencing’s leading pioneers, Harvard University geneticist George Church, whose team has been working for a decade on the woolly mammoth research.
“This funding allows for us to accelerate our plans on some of our conservation efforts and the application of some of these thoughtful disruptive technologies to conservation as a whole,” said Lamm, a serial entrepreneur whose previous companies specialized in artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.”
Ben Lamm is currently looking at four to six years where the first set of calves will have been born although they won’t necessarily look exactly like their ancestors. He added however that these calves will have some traits like the shaggy coats and extra layers of fats like their ancestors.