Controversial efforts to use genetics to resurrect extinct species have taken a step forward with the formation of a new company that aims to restore the wooly mammoth. Harvard biologist George Church has been pioneering these efforts. He has formed a company named Colossal, which seeks to establish a population of thousands of wooly mammoths on the Siberian tundra. The company has received $15 million in initial funding, the New York Times reports.
The company seeks to use CRISPR technology to edit elephant DNA to produce embryos with dense hair and thick fat. Church has argued that reviving the wooly mammoth could help restore grasslands to the Siberian landscape and reduce effects from a warming climate. But critics question the feasibility of the plan and the ethics of restoring an endangered species.