Either this is an incredible scientific breakthrough, or a brilliant piece of marketing for Jurassic World. Or both. 

Scientists at Harvard (where else) have taken a huge step towards bringing the woolly mammoth back to life after they were able to splice the genes of the now extinct creature with an elephant. 

The DNA they used was extracted from permafrost in the Arctic and the teams isolated the specific genes which differentiated them from elephants, especially those "associated with cold resistance including hairiness, ear size, subcutaneous fat" and others, and were able to successfully introduce them to elephant cells. 

The results have yet to be published in any scientific journal as Professor George Church, the lead researcher, says there's a long way to go yet before they can do that. The conditions have only been recreated in a lab, and there is still also plenty of debate surrounding whether or not this is a good idea. 

One of those against the project is Professor Alex Greenwood, who points out that "we face the potential extinction of African and Asian elephants. Why bring back another elephantid from extinction when we cannot even keep the ones that are not extinct around?". 

As always on serious ethical matters like this, we turn to the moral compass of our times, Karl Pilkington.

Via The Telegraph. Main pic via Wikipedia