The Plan to Turn Elephants Into Woolly Mammoths Is Already Underway

Image: Flickr/V.H. Hammer A man charged with thinking outside the box to solve huge societal problems with game-changing ideas at one of the world’s most innovative companies stood on stage at a future tech conference in Washington DC last weekend and told a genetic scientist that he “would love to be alive to see a woolly mammoth.” The genetic scientist looked back at him and laughed. “What, are you sick?” he asked. The implication of the exchange, between Google X’s Richard DeVaul and Stewart Brand, a de-extinction expert, was clear: There’s a mission to bring back one of history’s most famous animals, it’s already underway, and it’s closer to becoming a reality than even some of the most forward-looking minds think it is. For all the talk and attention it gets, de-extincting an animal isn’t exactly easy—it’s difficult to clone cells from an animal that has been dead for thousands of […] Read More