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Harvard scientist George Church, a pioneer of both DNA sequencing and gene editing, has been talking in the press for more than a decade about the possibility of bringing the extinct woolly mammoth back to life. It’s been the subject of magazine articles, books, and, of course, a TEDx talk.

Now, it is the focus of a company. Church and his colleagues announced Monday that Colossal, a startup focused on “de-extinction,” had raised $15 million for a project that involves CRISPR technology to genetically reengineer Asian elephants to be more like mammoths. Billionaire Thomas Tull, best known for founding a film production company that backed the “Batman” movies and “Inception,” and Silicon Valley venture capital firms Breyer Capital and Draper Associates are among the backers.

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