Hold on to your butts. University of Manitoba professor Kevin Campbell has ushered in an era of “virtual scientific time travel” by recreating the hemoglobin of the long extinct woolly mammoth. And if that immediately reminds you of Jurassic Park, it’s only going to get more uncanny:
Campbell and his team were able to extract DNA from three woolly mammoths preserved in the Siberian permafrost. And because mammoths are so similar to elephants, he was able to modify living elephant DNA, letter by letter, to make working mammoth genes. He inserted those genes into e. coli bacteria.
Then, Campbell says, “the e.coli simply followed the recipe” and made mammoth hemoglobin that did “everything it would have done if it had been inside a mammoth.”