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Thanks to the rapid advance of genomic technology, new tools are emerging for conservation. Endangered species that have lost their crucial genetic diversity may be restored to reproductive health. Those threatened by invasive diseases may be able to acquire genetic disease-resistance.

It may even be possible to bring some extinct species back to life. The DNA of many extinct creatures is well preserved in museum specimens and some fossils. Their full genomes can now be read and analyzed. That data may be transferable as working genes into their closest living relatives, effectively bringing the extinct species back to life. The ultimate aim is to restore them to their former home in the wild.

Molecular biologists and conservation biologists all over the world are working on these techniques. The role of Revive & Restore is to help coordinate their efforts so that genomic conservation can move ahead with the best current science, plenty of public transparency, and the overall goal of enhancing biodiversity and ecological health worldwide.

“Gone”— Isabella Kirkland’s painting of 63 species that have gone extinct since the 1700s.

The Great
Passenger Pigeon
Comeback

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Male passenger pigeon, painting by Tim Hough.

News & updates on the project using museum-specimen DNA to bring this iconic species all the way back.

Extinction Continuum

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Learn about the genetic situation of a variety of endangered and extinct animals and how biotechnologies might be applied. A continuum of genetic predicaments is matched with a continuum of genetic rescue techniques.
Explore the interactive continuum.

Criteria Checklist

220px-Thylacinus_cynocephalus_2_GouldCan a particular extinct species be revived? Should it be? Explore which species might be good candidates for de-extinction.
See the Full List.

Never Say Never

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Extinct heath hen                      Gazette archives

“Heath Hen May Get Its
Boom Back”

Revive & Restore posed the question of bringing the heath hen back to Martha’s Vineyard.
[See Martha's Vineyard Gazette...]

TEDx Videos

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On March 15, 2013 at National Geographic, twenty-five extraordinary talks by leading scientists and conservationists were captured on video on the concept of de-extinction.

Watch TEDxDeExtinction Videos

Stewart Brand’s TED Talk

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Throughout humankind’s history, we’ve driven species after species extinct… But now, says Stewart Brand, we have the technology to bring back species that humanity wiped out.

The Mammoth Cometh

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Credit: Stephen Wilkes, New York Times

Revive & Restore is honored to be the subject of a long and thorough cover story, titled “The Mammoth Cometh,” in this Sunday’s (March 2) New York Times Sunday Magazine.

 

Recommended Reading

REGENESIS: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves– George Church and Ed Regis

regenesis_coverOne of the world’s leading genomic engineers spells out how rapidly his field is developing radical capabilities. (Church is leading the revival of the woolly mammoth.)

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