Is the woolly mammoth coming back to life?

Photo Credit: Mauricio Antón

Is the woolly mammoth coming back to life? Japanese scientists sure hope so. In fact, if all goes according to plan, an elephant will give birth to a mammoth in five or six years.

This will be done by extracting the cell nuclei of a frozen mammoth. The nucleus would then be implanted into the egg of an elephant—the mammoth’s closest living relative. Then, the elephant would give birth to a living, breathing woolly mammoth.

Of course, there is no shortage of problems scientists might run into. First of all, the mammoth would have had to freeze quickly at the time of its death, never thawing in over 10,000 years. There is also a strong possibility that the nucleus won’t be intact. And even so, can the species survive in a completely different world?

I can’t help but wonder: If scientists do succeed, what are the implications?

Would we try to bring back other extinct animals? How about preserving endangered species? What if it’s taken one step further: Will scientists try to preserve modern species to guarantee survival?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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