As our governmental system continues to mutate and evolve into an ever-stranger beast, there are plenty of activities undertaken by the DC apparatus that don’t exactly seem like the most prudent use of our tax dollars. In fact, just about anyone in America can point to some project or cause right down the street from them that would be more worthy than some of the nonsense that our elected officials get into.
Yet still, they spend with impunity, and they do so with an increasingly exuberant and eccentric taste.
Take, for instance, the latest news out of the CIA.
What has the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in common with extinct Woolly Mammoths and Tasmanian Tigers? You’d probably say absolutely nothing. But you’d be very, very wrong. It turns out that the CIA is investing in Colossal Biosciences. With DNA editing, this company hopes to bring woolly mammoths and Tasmanian tigers back to life. The woolly mammoth is believed to have existed some 5,000 years ago in America. A report in the press claims that the CIA is funding research to revive extinct creatures, including woolly mammoths and thylacines that resemble tigers. The CIA recently pledged money to Texas-based Colossal Biosciences through In-Q-Tel, an investment firm it funds. On Colossal’s website, the company states it hopes to have the woolly mammoth roam the tundra once again by using genetic engineering – that is, editing the genome of an organism.
No, the CIA isn’t about to start breeding mammoths for the military.
Moreover, Colossal has expressed a desire to revive the Tasmanian tiger, an extinct marsupial that resembled a wolf. It also expressed an interest in resurrecting the extinct dodo bird. In-Q-Tel’s blog post revealed that the CIA is more interested in Colossal’s genetic engineering technology than it is in thundering mammoths and roaring thylacines. “In-Q-Tel’s senior officials have written that strategic considerations are less about the mammoths than about capabilities. There is an element of science fiction to de-extinction. It is not possible to bring back woolly mammoths as they were ten thousand years ago.
The idea of bringing an extinct animal back to life has long been a controversial one, but the US government’s most clandestine agency investing in gene-editing technology is certainly the far more worrisome possibility.