The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which is the first line of defence for the United States, has recently developed a fresh interest in natural history. A report in Newsweek said that Colossal Biosciences, a biotechnology firm located in Dallas, United States, that is working to save the woolly mammoth from extinction, has received financial support from the CIA, despite the fact that the agency is not typically known for dealing with extinct creatures.
The reports said that Peter Thiel, Tony Robbins, Paris Hilton, and Winklevoss Capital are a few more investors in the firm.
According to The Intercept, Colossal's new investor, In-Q-Tel, is registered as a nonprofit venture capital organisation sponsored by the agency. The firm has lately expressed an interest in biotechnology and DNA sequencing.
"Biotechnology and the broader bioeconomy are critical for humanity to further develop. It is important for all facets of our government to develop them and have an understanding of what is possible, "Colossal co-founder Ben Lamm told The Intercept.
Mammoths were massive, hairy elephant-like creatures that existed between 5 million and 4,000 years ago, becoming extinct with the retreat of the Ice Age glaciers at about the same time the Great Pyramids of Egypt were being built.
Newsweek further said that they have constantly captured the imaginations of individuals who seek to resurrect extinct species, especially since scientists were able to decode the mammoth genome using recovered DNA from mummified bones.
Using CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing, researchers want to resurrect extinct creatures such as mammoths and Tasmanian tigers.
According to Colossal, recovering the mammoth would help to slow the melting of the Arctic permafrost, stopping the release of greenhouse gases trapped there. It would also help to preserve current elephants from extinction.