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Woolly mammoth software may now save bees

Illustration of a double helix made out of a $100 bill.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Software built to help bring back the woolly mammoth and restore near-extinct species like the northern white rhino is being spun off into a separate company.

Why it matters: The new company, Form Bio, says its software is purpose-built for the sprawling field of "synthetic biology" — where scientists engineer DNA.

Details: The company's being spun off from Colossal Biosciences, and it's gotten buy-in to the tune of a $30 million Series A.

  • Jazz Venture Partners c0-led the round with Builders VC and entrepreneur Thomas Tull.
  • John Spinale, a Jazz managing partner, will join the company's board.

How it works: Synthetic biology looks to "program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines," Bryan Walsh wrote for Axios Future in 2020.

  • "If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live."
  • The tools can create stronger pollinators, among myriad other purposes.
  • The DNA editing tool CRISPR is one example.

Of note: President Biden issued an executive order this month aimed at vastly scaling the country's so-called bioeconomy.

Meanwhile, Colossal Biosciences raised a $60 million Series A this spring.

What they're saying: "Whether that is the medicines and drugs we take, whether that is the food we eat, the clothing that we wear, the air we breathe, the fuel that goes into our cars — all of this is going to be advanced with synthetic biology," Kent Wakeford, former Colossal COO turned Form Bio CEO, tells Axios.

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