Harvard researchers say they're just two years away from creating a hybrid embryo featuring genes of a woolly mammoth introduced into its closest living relative, an Asian elephant embryo. The creature is sometimes referred to as a "mammophant," reports the Guardian. It would be somewhat elephant-like, but have mammoth qualities such as shaggy hair, small ears and cold-adapted blood. The team says they are still several years away from creating a living creature.
Some people have raised ethical questions about the project.
“The proposed ‘de-extinction’ of mammoths raises a massive ethical issue – the mammoth was not simply a set of genes, it was a social animal, as is the modern Asian elephant," said Matthew Cobb, professor of zoology at the University of Manchester "What will happen when the elephant-mammoth hybrid is born? How will it be greeted by elephants?”
Mammoths make particularly good candidates for resurrection because they went extinct so recently and because many intact specimens have been found frozen in the Arctic tundra.