It may sound like something straight out of Jurassic Park, but it’s real: Scientists are working to resurrect woolly mammoths, the ancient relatives of modern elephants that roamed the Earth in the early days of man.
Guests are invited to discover this groundbreaking, bleeding-edge science beginning Saturday, Nov. 21 at Liberty Science Center, when we unravel our new “Making Mammoths” exhibit.
This exhibit presents the provocative work of Dr. George Church, a pioneer in genomics, to de-extinct the woolly mammoth by “reading” thousands-year-old DNA extracted from frozen mammoth carcasses in Siberia and introducing select ancient genetic sequences into modern-day Asian elephants.
Utilizing the Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR DNA-editing technology, Dr. Church believes he needs to alter only 40 or so genes to help the Asian elephant stave off extinction, morph into a “mammophant,” and potentially help the planet in its fight against global warming.
Dr. Church, a 66-year-old Harvard geneticist and 2018 recipient of LSC’s “Genius Award,” recently participated in an interview with LSC President and CEO Paul Hoffman at this year’s Virtual Genius Gala.
In the video below, watch as Dr. Church explains more about how he plans to bring back mammoths, the potential benefits for our planet, and whether we might see mammoths walking around Liberty State Park someday:
At the center of the exhibit is a woolly mammoth replica, six months in the making with each crafted hair individually positioned. Church’s work is playfully illustrated by famed-science cartoonist Larry Gonick.