Published October 2023 on Spotfiy

914: Ben Lamm | Resurrecting the Woolly Mammoth

1. Introduction

Explore the groundbreaking work of Colossal Biosciences in bringing back extinct animals, starting with the woolly mammoth. Discover the potential impact on conservation efforts and the timeline for this ambitious project.+

2. Reviving Extinct Species

Bringing Back Extinct Species:Ben Lamm discusses his company, Colossal, which aims to bring back extinct species through DNA recovery and technology. He explains the potential benefits for human healthcare and conservation efforts. Jordan Harbinger shares his initial skepticism and how he discovered the legitimacy of the project.+
Genetic Engineering Insights:Ben Lamm discusses the similarities and differences between genetic engineering in Jurassic Park and their work in engineering woolly mammoths. He highlights the use of Asian elephants' genome and the genes from the woolly mammoths' genome to create this reverse engineering process. Jordan Harbinger adds an interesting perspective on the inspiration behind Jurassic Park and its connection to their co-founder, George Church.+
Fascinating Mammoth Revival:Discover the mind-blowing world of synthetic biology as Ben Lamm shares his captivating encounter with the father of the field, George Church. From narcolepsy to woolly mammoths, this episode delves into the exciting possibilities of bringing back extinct species to rewild the Arctic and combat climate change. Get ready for an awe-inspiring journey into the realm of scientific innovation.+

3. Mammoth Conservation Unveiled

Uncovering the Mammoth:Ben and Jordan discuss the fascinating world of mammoth conservation and the unexpected connection to narcolepsy. They delve into the motivations behind studying mammoths and how it can ultimately benefit elephants and save them from deadly diseases like EEHV.+
Rewilding the Arctic:Ben and Jordan explore the concept of rewilding the Arctic through the reintroduction of mammoths and the impact it could have on biodiversity and carbon sequestration. They discuss the role of large grazing populations, the environmental benefits of elephants, and the potential to lower ground temperatures by up to eight degrees.+

4. Restoring Ecosystems with Mammoths

Mammoths and Ecosystem Restoration:Discover the incredible impact of mammoths on the environment and how their reintroduction could help restore ecosystems and offset carbon emissions. Join Jordan and Ben as they discuss the unintended consequences of human interference and the potential for nature-based solutions.+
De-Extinction and Ex-Utero Development:Ben discusses the fascinating world of de-extinction and the potential game-changing impact of ex-utero development on conservation efforts. He shares insights on the science behind these technologies and how they can be monetized for various applications, from endangered species preservation to human fertility. The conversation also touches on the history of mammoths and the debate surrounding their extinction.+

5. Ancient DNA Discoveries

Ancient DNA Discoveries:Ben and Jordan discuss the fascinating process of extracting DNA from ancient animals like the thylacine and mammoths, sharing insights on gestation periods and the challenges of retrieving genetic material from preserved remains found in cold environments.+
Unraveling Mammoth DNA:Discover how researchers leverage unpublished mammoth genomes and advanced analysis tools to understand the genetic makeup of mammoths and their relation to Asian elephants.+
Mammoth DNA and Hybrid Species:Ben and Jordan discuss the fascinating concept of adding mammoth DNA to elephants, creating a hybrid species with characteristics of both. They explore the interbreeding possibilities between Asian elephants and mammoths, and delve into the philosophical debate surrounding the creation of new species through hybridization.+

6. Sponsors

Discover how Nissan and BetterHelp can help you find more adventure, growth, and fun in your life. Join Jordan as he explores engaging dialogue and pushes the boundaries of understanding and personal development.+

7. Mammoth DNA Insights

Mammoth DNA, Elephant Habits:Ben Lamm discusses the implications of raising mammoths without other mammoths and how they can learn from existing elephant conservation groups. He also shares surprising insights about Asian elephants thriving in cold environments.+
De-Extinction Debate:Ben and Jordan discuss the challenges of de-extinction and how to gain public support for this radical idea. They touch on the difficulties of the project and the inclusive strategy they employ to work with various stakeholders.+

8. Handling Critics

Feedback and Critics:Ben Lamm discusses the importance of feedback and how they handle critics, both informed and uninformed. They value the insights from informed critics and actively seek their input to improve their work. However, they also acknowledge the challenges of dealing with uninformed critics who offer unhelpful feedback.+
Preserving Life's Value:Ben and Jordan discuss the religious criticism surrounding their project and draw parallels to the story of Noah's Ark. They emphasize the importance of preserving species and the value of life, regardless of religious beliefs.+

9. The Biodiversity Crisis

The 6th Mass Extinction:Jordan and Ben discuss the alarming rate of species loss and the potential for a 6th mass extinction. They explore the role of technology in conservation efforts and the importance of raising awareness about the biodiversity crisis.+
Ethical Considerations:Ben Lamm discusses the ethical considerations surrounding de-extinction and the importance of transparency and feedback from bioethicist Alta. They also explore the challenges of government cooperation and the potential impact of de-extinction on conservation efforts.+

10. Gene Editing Potential

Genetic Engineering Possibilities:Ben Lamm discusses the potential for using gene editing technology to protect animals in sanctuaries and prevent overhunting. He also explores the concept of multiplex editing and its potential applications in treating complex disease states.+
Future of Gene Editing:Ben Lamm discusses the incredible potential of gene editing and its impact on radiation tolerance. He shares a real-world example of how blocking a certain gene can lower cholesterol levels by 60%. With advancements in technology, Lamm envisions a world where disease states can be eradicated through gene editing.+

11. Sponsors

Transforming Business Success:Discover how Shopify, like Apple, can transform your business success with its vast resources and tools. Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at to elevate your game, no matter what stage you're in.+
Futuristic Genetic Modifications:Explore the possibilities of genetic modifications for humans in space travel and animals adapting to changing environments in this thought-provoking episode.+

12. Unraveling Dinosaur DNA

Unraveling Dinosaur DNA:Discover the truth about dinosaur DNA as Ben Lamm and Kenneth Lacavaro shed light on the possibility of de-extincting dinosaurs. While there may be amino acids and a few genes, the lack of large strands of dinosaur DNA makes it highly unlikely.+
De-Extinction Debate:Jordan and Ben discuss the ethical implications of de-extincting dinosaurs and creating a Jurassic Park Zoo, questioning the necessity and potential cruelty of such endeavors. They also touch on the roadmap for de-extinction, including animals like the mammoth, thylacine, and dodo.+
Genetic Engineering Birds:Ben Lamm discusses the potential of genetic engineering in creating unique bird species, including the extinct MOA, and the challenges involved. Jordan Harbinger learns about the enormous size of the MOA and its prey, sparking a conversation about the potential dangers of bringing back extinct species.+

13. Innovative Invasive Species Solutions

Invasive Species Solutions:Ben discusses the impact of invasive species on extinct animals and shares innovative solutions like gene drives to control their population without harming them.+
Boosting Nature's Solutions:Ben discusses the power of gene drives and how they can be used to empower the endangered Quo to eradicate the invasive cane toads. By giving nature a boost, we can let it help fix the problems we created.+

14. Synthetic Biology's Impact

Ben Lamm discusses the exciting world of synthetic biology and the potential economic impact of restoring species diversity. Jordan Harbinger is in awe of the epic work being done and can't wait to pet a woolly mammoth.+

15. Outro

Join Jordan as he delves into the world of economic sense with expert Ben Lamb, discussing the forefront of economic thinking and its implications.+