The woolly mammoth roamed the earth tens of thousands of years ago, but the woolly mammoth and modern day elephants still share a considerable amount of traits. In fact, scientists believe that splicing the DNA of woolly mammoths with current elephant species may be a way for endangered the Asian elephant to survive extinction. Scientists believe the technology to create this woolly mammoth-elephant hybrid could be available within the next two years for trials.
Years of research with woolly mammoth DNA have allowed scientists to study the genes that woolly mammoths share with modern day elephants. This understanding will help aid in splicing the DNA of the woolly mammoth with that of a modern day elephant to create a mammoth-elephant hybrid. The eventual goal would be to grow a mammoth embryo within an artificial womb in order to avoid compromising the reproduction system of a health elephant.
The use of this technology is not unlimited and has set boundaries in place. Dr. Edze Westra of the University of Exeter was quoted, “One can also use this technology for engineering the DNA of rapidly declining species or those that are becoming too inbred to increase their chance of survival.” With that in mind, it is unlikely we will see a real life Jurassic Park in the near future, but we should see the continued survival of the Asian elephant.