Peter Thiel invested $100,000 to resurrect woolly mammoth

Paypal founder Peter Thiel has invested $100,000 in a Harvard University research group trying to bring a woolly mammoth to life.
By James Carlin | Jul 03, 2017
Paypal founder Peter Thiel has invested $100,000 in a Harvard University research group trying to bring a woolly mammoth to life. George Church, a Harvard University genomics professor whose lab is hosting the mammoth research, confirmed the donation in an interview with MIT Technology Review.
Church's lab reports that it has so far grown mammoth fur on the side of a mouse after grafting some elephant cells onto the mouse's skin. The researchers are attempting to extract DNA from frozen mammoths and use them to genetically modify elephant cells. Thiel's donation to their efforts occurred in 2015.
Church has also been working on an anti-aging treatment involving gene therapy, as well as a project that would use human neurons to create human intelligence. Church told MIT Technology Review that Thiel met him over breakfast in 2015 and told him that he wanted to fund the "craziest thing" he was pursuing. Church described these two projects and the mammoth project, and Thiel opted for the mammoth project.
Thiel is on record as supporting life-extension research in generalfor humans, as well as mammoths. He has invested millions into a range of biotechnology and artificial intelligence research-and-development endeavors that tie in with what he calls the "immortality project"lengthening the human life span as far as possible, and upgrading artificial intelligence to the point where humans might download their consciousness into computer systems and live forever.
He has also signed up with Alcor, a cryogenics company, to freeze him at the time of his death in hopes that he might be revived in the future. Thiel's mammoth-resurrection interest has much to do with this: Church's mammoth efforts would be precisely the research that a future attempt to resurrect Thiel would require.
"I've always had this really strong sense that death was a terrible, terrible thing," Thiel told the Washington Post, "Most people end up compartmentalizing, and they are in some weird mode of denial and acceptance about death, but they both have the result of making you very passive. I prefer to fight it."


Have something to say? Let us know in the comments section or send an email to the author. You can share ideas for stories by contacting us here.

Comments should take into account that readers may hold different opinions. With that in mind, please make sure comments are respectful, insightful, and remain focused on the article topic.