The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is funding research to revive endangered animals such as woolly mammoths and Tasmanian tigers. To that end, the company funneled funding to Texas-based Colossal Biosciences through a venture capital firm called In-Q-Tel.
Colossal Biosciences is a company focused on the field of genetic engineering, and its goal is to overcome extinction through the process of “de-extinction,” i.e., bringing back to life already extinct animals. According to Colossal’s website, the company’s primary goal is to “revisit the woolly mammoth on the tundra.”
According to the company, this task can be accomplished using DNA modeling technology. Colossal announced its interest in reviving the extinct wolf-like marsupial — and the todo-like Tasmanian tiger — in the 1930s.
According to In-Q-Tel’s release, the CIA is more interested in the basic technology of genetic engineering than in getting these animals back. Company officials say the investment by the U.S. defense agency is “about capacity and about woolly mammoths.”
To achieve this goal, Colossal aims to use a gene-editing method called CRISPR. It’s a kind of genetic “scissors” that scientists can use to cut, paste, and replace specific genetic sequences in an organism’s DNA.
The CIA is interested in an animal “extermination” program
Recently, the Digital appearance Colossal Bioscience published a story detailing its objectives. Researchers are aware of the challenges, as it is impossible to recreate an animal from 10,000 years ago in today’s mold. But with tools that enable DNA editing, scientists can insert some common mammoth traits into modern elephants. Among these characteristics, cold resistance stands out.
In-Q-Tel said the CIA’s investment in the program would help the U.S. government “establish ethical and technical and technical standards” for genetic engineering technology, and keep the U.S. one step ahead of competing nations. Be interested in reading, writing and modifying genetic code.
Critics of megabiology’s ambitions have warned of the conditions under which this “de-extinction” occurs, where even if an agency manages to engineer healthy animals, the natural habitat for that species no longer exists, and an animal has not been taught to thrive in an ecosystem whose genetic code is unknown. Criticism, on the other hand, has been aimed at the financial sector, as some scientists claim that money spent on these projects could be directed towards the protection of living animals.
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