Scientists are closer than ever to raise extinct species from the dead. Yes, it is not a science fiction anymore, researchers are working on extinction-reversing technology to bring back extinct species to life similar to how scientists were able to do in the movie ‘Jurassic Park’. But it is not some kind of movie or science fiction but science was boffins are actually trying to resurrect an extinct species of an 11-foot tall Wooly Mammoth that are believed to have died 10,000 years ago.
Dr. Douglas McCauley, an ecology, evolution and marine biology professor at the University of California has asserted that boffins (researchers) are closer than ever to resurrect extinct species presumably Woolly Mammoth which is believed to have died 10,000 years ago due to low birth rates and shrinking habitats among other problems. Dr. Douglas said: “We are closer now than ever before to being able to raise species from the dead. But it is important to understand what are and are not able to do with de-extinction technology”. He added that researchers could initiate the process of resurrecting this huge species as early as this year pointing out towards the cloning process where the DNA sequence will be used.
As of now, researchers are trying to extract “high quality” DNA genome from preserved specimens. The DNA samples will be injected to a living elephant as a surrogate where the offspring would either be an elephant with lots of body hairs or any other traits of woolly mammoths that might fuse with the living elephants. Although the process won’t exactly raise a perfect photocopy, it will be able to raise significantly resembling species that have extinct thousands of years ago.
However, the task of extracting usable high-quality DNA sample from the remains of ancient species isn’t a cake walk. DNA samples can explain a lot about the species as it is the fundamental building structure, however, it gets damaged over time and degrades over a long period of time, say few thousand years. On the hand, a well-preserved DNA sample extracted from preserved species is highly useful. For instance, researchers were able to pull out DNA samples from a horse who was killed and preserved in permafrost more than 700,000 years ago. However, extracting DNA from ancient species makes it difficult for researchers to find a suitable surrogate for possible reproduction.
The professor states that it can be more yielding if researchers stress on using this technology to prevent endangered species from extinction or those species which recently went extinct such as rhinos.