DNA editing would add mammoth genes to elephants in deal backed by PayPal founder Peter Thiel

A team of scientists and entrepreneurs announced on Monday that they have started a new company to genetically resurrect the woolly mammoth, and plan to place thousands of the beasts back on the Siberian tundra, thousands of years after they went extinct.

The company will add genes for mammoth traits like dense hair and thick fat for withstanding cold, and hopes to produce embryos of mammoth-like elephants in a few years, despite skepticism from fellow scientists.

Today the Siberian tundra is dominated by moss. But when woolly mammoths were around, it was largely grassland. Some researchers have argued that woolly mammoths were ecosystem engineers, maintaining the grasslands by breaking up moss, knocking down trees and providing fertilizer with their droppings.

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