As technology continues to saunter down a strange and wily path, there are plenty of fears that the human race is getting a little too close to the powers of The Creator. We are unlocking secrets and information that some of us believe we should never have access to, and this could bring untold calamities to our planet.
Despite these concerns, some scientists have continued to travel the road to ruin, and could even bring long-extinct species back to earth within the next several years.
A little more than two years ago, serial tech entrepreneur Ben Lamm reached out to renowned Harvard geneticist George Church. The two met in Boston, at Church’s lab, and that fruitful conversation was the catalyst for the start-up Colossal, which is announcing its existence Monday.
The start-up’s goal is ambitious and a little bit crazy: It aims to create a new type of animal similar to the extinct woolly mammoth by genetically engineering endangered Asian elephants to withstand Arctic temperatures.
And how soon could this happen?
The project has been kicking around for years, but nobody had ever given it enough funding to get it off the ground. Now it’s a company with $15 million in seed funding from a variety of investors and Lamm as CEO.
“We had about $100,000 over the last 15 years, which is way, way less than any other project in my lab, but not through lack of enthusiasm,” Church told CNBC. “It is by far the favorite story. We’ve never done a press release on it in all those years. It just comes up naturally in conversation.”
It could take as little as six years for Colossal to create a calf, Church told CNBC. The timeline is “aggressive,” he admitted. “When people used to ask me that question, I said, ‘I have no idea. We don’t have any funding.’ But now, I can’t dodge it. I would say six is not out of the question.”
Now the only question is whether or not such an ambitious and overzealous project will end in delight or disaster.
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