Wooly mammoths to be (re)born by 2027, says biotech firm

Originally published at: Wooly mammoths to be (re)born by 2027, says biotech firm | Boing Boing


sloth no GIF

Edit: to expand on the gif here. The reason why I’m opposed to bringing back extinct megafauna and older extinct species is the fact that there’s no niche for them to fill. It’s not like bringing back say the Dodo or Auroch which had survived up until recent history thus having some kind of niche to fill. Also, the matter of such so-called resurrections are often hybrids of existing species which seems to negate the idea of such an effort. Basically, leave them in the past and learn to not muck up the environment any further is what I suggest.


This story has been going around for a while, but I’ve yet to hear any ecologists who think it’s a good idea. Tech bros playing power fantasies again. Also this is all vapourware anyway, until they actually produce something that isn’t a glorified cloned elephant.


So I was gonna say sorta the same thing. Plus they have to be careful about which niche they’re trying to fill. Take for example extinct animals like the north american cheetah, north american hyena or the gruesome giant short faced bear that used to hunt the pronghorn to control their numbers. Do you want animals like those who are capable of being fast enough to keep up with the second fastest land animal running around causing havoc in the american plains?

Im Not No Way GIF


obscured by the predecing controversy

Minor typo @beschizza
(I’ll admit that whilst something looked off as I read that sentence, it took me another 2-3 reads to figure out what it was.)

And yes, this smells like a BioTechBro fantasy with no real application or benefit being identified and no plan for dealing with any consequences. Typical TechBro behaviour.


Oh, that’s an excellent word, though. It should mean something.


Well it’s not far from ‘predeceasing’. :man_shrugging:

(I.e. what the woolly mammoth did to us all.)


From the company’s website.

““In 2014, I asked my friend Elon Musk who he knew who was poised to make profound changes in the field of genomics, and he said: George Church.”

There’s a similarly gushing statement from Tony Robbins, world famous Life-Coach about his enthusiasm for the mission. Which, incidentally, sounds super creepy(emphasis mine).

At Colossal Biosciences, we endeavor to jumpstart nature’s ancestral heartbeat. To see the Woolly Mammoth thunder upon the tundra once again. To advance the economies of biology and nutrition. To make humanity more human. And to reawaken the lost wilds of Earth. So we, and our planet, can breathe easier.

This isn’t even in the same ballpark as the utterly classic WeWork S-1, a true masterpiece of the techbro hubris genre; but damn does it do its plucky little best. And, naturally, a ‘serial entrepreneur’ and ‘thought leader’ who is a fellow of the “Explorer’s Club” is involved.

(I am slightly jealous of Sara Ord; she gets to be “Director of Species Restoration - Thylacine Lead”, which is something for a business card; though this does also suggest that they aren’t even pacing themselves in vaporware de-extinctions; if they’ve already picked a second)

At least they’ve got the Winklevoss twins and an NFT-slinger on as investors.


“It’s too damn hot!” -A newly self aware Woolly Mammoth in 2027. Probably. Most certainly.


I’d say there was a good case for making humanity less human, in many respects, given our track record.

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Yeah, wondering how the herds of mammoth are going to “thunder” across all that freshly thawed tundra. I expect it’s going to be more of a “squelching” sound.


Start smaller, Dodo or Carrier Pigeon, and see how that goes foul (or fowl) first. Always start your Cronenberg Worlds with an easy “Well, let’s not do that again” option.


Colossal’s basic pitch is that people are destroying the planet and species are going extinct at an alarming rate and “The Solution Is De-Extinction.” That is a horrid grift. De-extinction will do nothing to change the problems that are making these species go extinct in the first place.

They’re essentially saying that if given hundreds of millions of dollars they will bio-engineer the coolest fiddle ever for Nero to play while the planet burns. And even more messed up is both NIH and PE are lined up to give them more money

eta: There are really good research labs working with Colossal. These people absolutely could be making real, positive contributions to science with this money.


That’s something to brag about? Given Musk’s general tendencies and judge of science and engineering, they’ll have a plastic model by 2027. Maybe.


Any guess on where they fall in terms of kool-aide drinking vs. willing to poke at an interesting but frivolous project vs. hoping that they’ll be able to justify a bunch of actually useful research as totally, any day now, leading up to the VC faff?


All of the above. For instance, collaborators of mine held a meeting to discuss how we can get a taste of the mammoth spoils. Research funding is hard to come by and getting it often means “working on” whatever is getting funding even if its BS. There will be good genomics work done with this money.

It is also a grift by people who are exploiting advances in biology to promote absurd, impractical Jurassic Park style ideas for selfish reasons.

The advisors at Colossal are mostly good scientists who are trying to gin-up public interest to advance genomics research, but my personal opinion is that in these situations the grifters always end up with a bigger piece of the pie than do the people wanting to contribute to society. Just my 2 cents


Elephant with a mohawk to be born by 2027.

I was waiting for someone to reference that book.

“You were so preoccupied by wondering if you could that you never bothered to stop and think if you should.”


what could go wrong schitts creek GIF by CBC

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Already got a draft in the system for 2030

“Mammoth” just a hairy elephant with dire heat regulation, other health problems