What We Do
Revive & Restore’s mission is to enhance biodiversity through the genetic rescue of
endangered and extinct species.
The fields of molecular biology and conservation biology are intersecting. New genetic tools and new collaborative projects in genomic conservation are emerging every month.
Revive & Restore is pressing ahead with a variety of genetic rescue projects with endangered and extinct species — sometimes directly, sometimes as convener, sometimes as preliminary funder, or all three.
- We are working on genetic rescue for Asian elephants (from a lethal virus), black-footed ferrets (from lethal plague and inbreeding), and Hawaiian native birds (from avian malaria).
- We are also working on bringing back from extinction: passenger pigeons, woolly mammoths, heath hens (a New England grouse), and great auks (a north Atlantic “penguin.”)
- These projects include sequencing and assembling DNA (ancient, cryo-preserved, and living), bioinformatic analysis, genome editing, creating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), cross-species cloning, work with avian primordial germ cells, and captive breeding.
Revive & Restore serves as a hub to help make the growing number of projects worldwide aware of each other. This way the scientists, institutions, funders, and regulators can all work with the same rapidly growing body of knowledge and bioethical standards.
- We convene meetings (large and small, public and private) to help advance and cohere the field of de-extinction and genetic rescue. These include workshops on the passenger pigeon, the black-footed ferret, and the great auk, as well as two large conferences on de-extinction and two on genetic rescue of endangered species.
- We host an online listserv for 150 conservation biologists, molecular biologists, ethicists, and science journalists to discuss emerging news and ideas.
Revive & Restore also has a responsibility to help keep the new field of genetic rescue transparent to the public. We maintain an informative website and we work with journalists and authors so they can focus on the most current and reliable information. Because some projects involving genetic rescue can be controversial, we are developing an online tool for public debate called Hopes & Concerns.
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