The CIA, along with many other entities, has taken part in funding biotechnology company Colossal Biosciences, which is attempting to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction, The Intercept reports.
“Biotechnology and the broader bioeconomy are critical to the further development of humanity. It is important that all facets of our government develop them and understand what is possible,” Colossal co-founder Ben Lamm told the publication. investigative.
Colossal’s new investor, In-Q-Tel, is a CIA-funded non-profit venture capital firm that has recently shown an interest in biotechnology and DNA sequencing.
On September 22, In-Q-Tel published a blog post clearly expressing that its interest was not in resurrecting the woolly mammoth but in the technology used to do so.
“Why the interest in a company like Colossal, which was founded with the mission of ‘extinguishing’ the woolly mammoth and other species?” asks the non-profit organization. “Strategically, it’s less about mammoths and more about capability. The next wave of advances in synbio will lead to advances in our ability to model both form and function in organisms at the macroscopic level. Solving the challenges that must be overcome in animal engineering. and plants “.
Ben Lamm, the co-founder of Colossal, echoed the firm’s point, telling The Intercept in an email that “biotechnology and the broader bioeconomy are critical to the further development of humanity. It is important that all aspects of our government develop them and have an understanding or what is possible. “
According to Newsweek, mammoths were huge elephant-like creatures that lived from about 5 million years ago to about 4,000 years ago that sailed in the arctic conditions of ice age glaciers around the same time that the Great Pyramids of Egypt they were under construction.
Now, with the help of new gene editing technology provided by CRISPR, the biotech company is positioning itself to bring the immense beasts back to life through DNA procured from mummified mammoth remains.
“Colossal will revolutionize history and be the first company to successfully use CRISPR technology in the de-extinction of previously lost species. During the journey we will build radically new tools and software technologies to advance genomics science in general,” Colossal wrote. on its website.
According to the company, the restoration of the mammoth will help discourage the melting of Arctic permafrost, as well as help stop emissions of greenhouse gases stored inside and save modern elephants from extinction.
However, not all scientists agree that de-extinction is a good thing.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Jeremy Austin, director of the Australian Center of Ancient DNA, said: “De-extinction is a fairytale science.
“It’s pretty clear to people like me that the de-extinction of the thylacine or the mammoth is more about media attention for scientists and less about serious science.”
But as Lamm puts it, “critics who claim that the de-extinction of genes to create replacement species is impossible are critics who are simply not fully informed and do not know the science. We have been clear from day one that on the path of de- extinction we will develop technologies that we hope will be beneficial to both human health care and conservation. “
The biotech company plans to resurrect the woolly mammoth using CRISPR to merge the DNA of the Asian elephant with the DNA of the woolly mammoth, as the Asian elephant is the closest living relative.
After that, the idea is that the joined DNA would form a hybrid embryo, which would then be transplanted into the womb of a healthy African elephant.
Regardless of whether such a feat is viable, the CIA is interested.
Colossal’s other founder George Church, a Harvard geneticist and former beneficiary of Jeffrey Epstein’s funding, told Der Spiegel in 2013 that the resurrection of Neanderthals could be possible with technology.
“We can clone all kinds of mammals, so it’s very likely that we could clone a human,” Church said. “Why shouldn’t we be able to do this?”
When the interviewer pointed out that human cloning had been banned, Church replied, “and the laws can change, by the way.”
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