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.
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.
Dr. George Church’s efforts to bring back one of history’s most famous animals is already underway…[See Woolly Mammoth Revival.]
Revive & Restore is featured in a KQED documentary: QUEST – Reawakening Extinct Species. Using new genetic technologies, scientists are trying to bring back extinct species… View the complete documentary here.
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
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.
One 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.) See the complete recommended reading list here.