An illustration of Woolly Mammoths. Depositphotos.

Company that wants to resurrect woolly mammoths funded by the CIA

The CIA is investing in Colossal Biosciences. With DNA editing, this company hopes to bring woolly mammoths and Tasmanian tigers back to life.


What has the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in common with extinct Woolly Mammoths and Tasmanian Tigers? You’d probably say absolutely nothing. But you’d be very, very wrong. It turns out that the CIA is investing in Colossal Biosciences. With DNA editing, this company hopes to bring woolly mammoths and Tasmanian tigers back to life. The woolly mammoth is believed to have existed some 5,000 years ago in America. A report in the press claims that the CIA is funding research to revive extinct creatures, including woolly mammoths and thylacines that resemble tigers. The CIA recently pledged money to Texas-based Colossal Biosciences through In-Q-Tel, an investment firm it funds. On Colossal’s website, the company states it hopes to have the woolly mammoth roam the tundra once again by using genetic engineering – that is, editing the genome of an organism.

Its not about the Mammoth

Moreover, Colossal has expressed a desire to revive the Tasmanian tiger, an extinct marsupial that resembled a wolf. It also expressed an interest in resurrecting the extinct dodo bird. In-Q-Tel’s blog post revealed that the CIA is more interested in Colossal’s genetic engineering technology than it is in thundering mammoths and roaring thylacines. “In-Q-Tel’s senior officials have written that strategic considerations are less about the mammoths than about capabilities. There is an element of science fiction to de-extinction. It is not possible to bring back woolly mammoths as they were ten thousand years ago.

Not really mammoths

However, scientists can make modern elephants genetically similar to woolly mammoths by inserting cold-resistant characteristics into their DNA sequences. In this case, the resulting creature wouldn’t be a mammoth itself but rather an elephant with characteristics similar to those of a mammoth. Using a genetic editing technique called CRISPR, scientists can cut, paste, and replace gene sequences into an organism’s DNA using genetic “scissors.” It was developed by several scientists who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020. As stated in the In-Q-Tel blog post, investing in this project will help the U.S. government “set the ethical as well as technological standards” for genetic engineering technology, thereby allowing the U.S. to keep up with competing countries interested in reading, writing, and altering genetic codes.


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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