Is the CIA planning to revive mammoths?

The first line of defense of the United States, the CIA, showed interest in “bringing to life” a series of extinct species. That’s how they think to get it.

A report recently published in Newsweek revealed the recent interest of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA, for its acronym in English) for natural history. Mammoths, Tasmanian tigers and other extinct species are among the animals that want to ‘resurrect’, hand in hand with the biotechnology company Colossal Biosciences.

On a mission to advance the economics of biology and healing, Explain the company, they allied with the CIA to seek answers in the remaining genetic evidence of these species. This is the plan.

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De-extinction: what is it and how does the genetic plan of the CIA work?

Extinction is a natural and biological phenomenon. It is understood as “the disappearance or extermination of a species”, explains Colossal. In general, it is due to natural disasters, climatic changes and the same evolution.

In the last 200 to 300 years, documents the company, the rate of extinction accelerated on an unimaginable scale. Much more than over the 4.5 billion years of the history of Planet Earth. Colossal and the CIA seek to mitigate the ravages of modern extinction, led by the ecological pressure exerted by human activity.

“By combining the science of genetics with the business of discovery, we strive to revive the ancient heartbeat of nature. See the woolly mammoth thunder over the tundra once again”, explains the company in its official website.

Depending on the coverage of livescienceHowever, the CIA’s interest goes beyond extinct species. On the contrary, the agency is interested in “the technology of underlying genetic engineering that Colossal intends to develop”.

To achieve this, they are relying on the CRISPR gene editing method: DNA “scissors” that they use to cut, paste and replace specific gene sequences. The method was so revolutionary that it earned them a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020.

How viable is the project?

Although the CIA and Colossal are already working on re-sequencing the genes of woolly mammoths and Tasmanian tigers, there are severe critics about this project. Especially, because the habitat of prehistoric pachydermsno longer exists.

Even if the new genetic sequence worked – because it is not a guarantee – this success does not teach animals to live in an environment that does not belong to them. For this reason, other scientists assure that the money that is being invested in reviving extinct species could serve, rather, to conserve those that are currently in danger. The CIA, however, continues to see how to ‘resurrect’ extinct mammoths.

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