Skip to main content


New Genetic Management Hub Scales Genetic Rescue for Wildlife
Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) | Alamy
New Genetic Management Hub Scales Genetic Rescue for Wildlife

New Genetic Management Hub Scales Genetic Rescue for Wildlife

Many endangered species are now highly inbred, threatening long-term recovery. Researchers at Monash University…
June 27, 2024

Revive & Restore in the media


Stay up to date on innovations in genetic rescue!

* indicates required
Join the community

Media archive

2021 | 2020 | 20192018 | 20172016 | 20152014 | 2013


De-extinction Could Reverse Species Loss. But Should We Do It?

Assuming you could bring them back, what would it take to get their numbers to anything approaching their former bounty? A lot of time and resources, says Phelan. “We are strong believers in the need to do things incrementally. … There’s not going to be a moment when there are a billion passenger pigeons in the sky. There will be times when there’s a dozen in captivity, several dozen in captivity, a hundred in captivity. And we’ll start to see, what’s the impact and how does it work? And then we’ll go on to the next level.”

California Magazine
Fall 2021

To Restore Biodiversity, Embrace Biotech’s ‘Intended Consequences’

Intended Consequences is a new, inclusive, ethical and rational framework that will help us envision bold conservation interventions and safely leverage biotechnology to win the race against extinction. Some individuals worry about the unintended consequences of intervening with nature, including the use of genetic technology as well as traditional conservation restoration. However, alarming biodiversity loss tells us we must be more focused on the game-changing positive impacts that will result from a focus on Intended Consequences.

Scientific American
June 15, 2021

Rewilding Is A High-tech Solution To Saving Endangered Species

While their mission has regularly grabbed headlines because of its sheer novelty factor, Dr. Michele Weber says “de-extinction” efforts must centre on current real-world needs. “We’re thinking about how to edit Asian elephant genomes and introduce some of the mutations from the woolly mammoth genome that we know were important in conferring cold temperature tolerance,” she says.

ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
June 22, 2021

The Intellectual Johnny Appleseed of the Counterculture

A conversation with Whole Earth Catalog founder, Merry Prankster, and woolly mammoth de-extinctionist Stewart Brand. “If we can basically help nature heal itself from our previous misbehaviors, that not only helps nature; it helps us. We can move on from feeling guilty about what we’ve done. Undoing damage is one of the interesting ways to do good in the world.”

June 2021

The Surprising Reason Scientists Haven’t Been Able to Clone a Bird Yet

Currently, without the ability to cryopreserve the cells of bird species and clone them later, there is no scientific failsafe for birds like there is for mammals in case of genetic bottlenecks or critical endangerment. The bird answer to cloning hinges on something called “primordial germ cells.”

April 28, 2021

The Butterfly Effect

Striking a blow against climate change, San Francisco scientists are working to return the iconic Xerces blue from extinction. “A lot of species are hanging on by their fingertips,” O’Brien says, “but we have this material sitting in drawers that might be able to help us bring a butterfly back.”

Alta Journal
April 19, 2021

Meet Elizabeth Ann, the First Cloned Black-Footed Ferret

“In 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Service approached Revive & Restore to explore how biotechnology, which the nonprofit develops in pursuit of the de-extinction of species, could help increase the genetic diversity of black-footed ferrets. The following year, Revive & Restore sequenced the genomes of four black-footed ferrets.”

The New York Times
February 18, 2021

More media coverage on Elizabeth Ann and our Black-footed ferret project is available, HERE.

Vaccine testing is changing. Why is this $13B lab still bleeding SC horseshoe crabs?

“Why are we using a wild animal extract when we don’t need to?” asked Ryan Phelan, the executive director of Revive and Restore, a nonprofit that advocates for biotechnology and conservation. “It’s like using whales for lamp oil, it’s like using pigs for insulin.”

The State
February 11, 2021


Biotech Can Save This Threatened Keystone Species & Keep Covid-19 Vaccines Safe

To fight the Covid-19 pandemic, 14 billion doses of vaccines are needed. Yet to make vaccines safe, almost all drug manufacturers still rely on the blood of the horseshoe crab. But with new international standards announced on July 1, 2020, that can change. In this 2020 video, Revive & Restore co-founders Ryan Phelan and Stewart Brand describe our efforts to save the horseshoe crab and call on the pharmaceutical industry to adopt rFC, the sustainable, synthetic alternative that can replace the bleeding of this threatened, keystone species.

Revive & Restore
July 1, 2020

Tests for Coronavirus Vaccine Need This Ingredient: Horseshoe Crabs

“It is crazy-making that we are going to rely on a wild animal extract during a global pandemic,” Ryan Phelan, the head of the nonprofit Revive and Restore, said before the recent decision.

The New York Times
James Gorman, June 03, 2020

First Clone of Endangered Przewalski’s Horse Born in Conservation Effort to Save the Species

“This birth expands the opportunity for genetic rescue of endangered wild species,” said Ryan Phelan, executive director of Revive & Restore, in a statement. “Advanced reproductive technologies, including cloning, can save species by allowing us to restore genetic diversity that would have otherwise been lost to time.”

Madeleine Carlisle, September 06, 2020

Horse cloned at Timber Creek Canyon Veterinary Hospital may help save his species

“Kurt’s personality is one of the things that Revive & Restore Lead Scientist Ben Novak says shows he’s a success…He’s head butting. He’s nipping. He’s really rambunctious–and that is exactly what we want out of Prezwelski’s horse, we want him to be wild.”

KAMR Channel 4 News, Amarillo, TX
Jackie Kingston, September 10, 2020


Listen as podcast host Grey Stafford, Ryan Phelan, and Ben Novak of Revive & Restore discuss the cloning technology that helped bring Kurt to life.

Zoo Logic Podcast
October 1, 2020

The Booming Call of De-extinction

“While efforts are underway to bring back extinct mammals, such as the woolly mammoth and quagga, through cloning, artificial insemination, and a breeding process that aims to revert domesticated species to phenotypes that closely resemble their wild ancestors, birds’ reproductive systems are not as amenable to these techniques. So scientists are turning to cultured germ cell transmission, a promising technique that has been used to propagate gene-edited domesticated chickens for more than a decade.”

The Scientist
W.S. Roberts, October 19, 2020


Research and Rescue: Saving Species from Ourselves

“I soon learned, however, that extinction is not actually so straightforward. We humans tend to tinker, to tweak. We try to fix what we have broken. Even as we attempt to preserve other living things — northern white rhinoceros, California condor, black-footed ferret — we change them. And that’s nothing new in human history.

Long Reads
October, 2019

Martha, the last of her species, might lose that distinction if scientists have their way

“The de-extinction efforts underway don’t really re-create the bird’s entire DNA. Instead, scientists start by decoding DNA from extinct passenger pigeons and, through bio-technology, change the DNA code of living band-tailed pigeons to match the passenger pigeon’s code. By changing enough of the code, and through tried-and-true conservation practices, scientists hope the new birds look and behave the same way that their historic counterparts did.”

Cincinnati Enquirer
August 29, 2019

By Land and sea, Looking to Restore a Planet in Crisis

“Buried deep within the woods of the Manuel Correllus State Forest [on Martha’s Vineyard] is a statue of Booming Ben, the world’s final heath hen. Once common all along the eastern seaboard, the species was hunted to near-extinction in the 1870s. Although a small number of the birds found refuge on Martha’s Vineyard, they officially disappeared in 1932 — with Booming Ben, the last of their kind, calling for female mates who were no longer there to hear him…Since 2013, however, a group of cutting-edge researchers with the group Revive and Restore have been hard at work to bring back the heath hen as part of an ambitious avian de-extinction project. 

The Vineyard Gazette
August 22, 2019

The Shorebirds of Delaware Bay Are Going Hungry

“On their migrations north, famished birds stop to feast on eggs laid by horseshoe crabs. But the crabs were overfished, and conservationists say that some bird species may never recover…One of them, the red knot, has been listed as a threatened species. Since 2000, red knot numbers have plunged as low as 10,000 in some years, around one-ninth of the level in the 1980s. At the moment, the population hovers at about 30,000, still too low to be sustainable, conservationists claim.”

The New York Times
June 3, 2019


Meet the Scientists Bringing Extinct Species Back from the Dead

“The last known passenger pigeon—a bird named Martha—died in captivity at a Cincinnati zoo in 1914. Her demise sparked the passing of modern conservation laws to protect other endangered species in the U.S.” Now, more than 100 years later, the Passenger Pigeon is again advancing conservation.

Although the de-extinction of the Passenger Pigeon will likely take decades, de-extinction research is already generating foundational science that could transform bird conservation. Furthermore, Passenger Pigeon de-extinction offers a new opportunity to achieve long-term conservation goals for woodland forests in the eastern United States.

Wall Street Journal
October 9, 2018

Disease-Resistant Ferrets?

“Through genetic alterations, a California conservation organization hopes to one day create disease-resistant black-footed ferrets. Revive & Restore, of Sausalito, California, has been issued permits by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do genetic research on the cells of the endangered ferrets. The permits are a first for the Service and, if successful to the end goal, could result in the first-ever release of genetically altered endangered species in the wild.”

Powell Tribune
November 13, 2018

Horseshoe Crabs Are at Risk – So Endotoxin Tests Are, Too

“The horseshoe crab’s amebocytes, or blood cells, contain a clotting agent that forms in the presence of Gram-negative bacteria. This agent, which is used to detect endotoxin in pharmaceutical and medical device products, may become scarce if horseshoe crab populations continue to decline.”

GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
October 1, 2018

Stop the Bleeding

“After more than a decade, an alternative to the blood-based test seems to be gaining traction in the biomedical community—and it could ultimately spare horseshoe crabs and bolster the species that depend on them.”

Property and Environment Research Center magazine
July 2, 2018

Inside the Biomedical Revolution to Save Horseshoe Crabs and the Shorebirds That Need Them

“It took a dedicated birder to convince pharma giant Eli Lilly to use a synthetic compound instead of horseshoe crab blood in a mandatory medical test. Now, he hopes the rest of industry will follow.”

Audubon magazine
May 11, 2018

The Last Days of the Blue-Blood Harvest

“Every year, more than 400,000 crabs are bled for the miraculous medical substance that flows through their bodies—now pharmaceutical companies are finally committing to an alternative that doesn’t harm animals.”

The Atlantic
May 9, 2018

These Technologies Could Save the Northern White Rhino From Extinction

“In an effort to save the species, scientists at the San Diego Zoo Global are developing stem cell technologies to create a new generation of northern white rhinos.”

March 20, 2018

The Incredible Science of Ancient DNA

“Ancient DNA is an amazing resource for scientists aiming to learn about – and learn from – the past, and researchers are looking forward to a future filled with untold possibilities.”

Earth Touch News Network
February 6, 2018

How the “Dr. Dolittle of Dinos” Plans to Resurrect Woolly Mammoths

“If scientist Ben Novak has his way, the phrase ‘dead as a dodo’ will soon need a rethink. Discover how he’s bringing extinct species back to life, and why it’s nothing like Jurassic Park.”

Red Bull Discover
January 22, 2018

TED 2017

Stewart Brand Discusses Woolly Mammoth De-Extinction and Genetic Rescue

“Because we’re in the de-extinction business, the preventing-extinction business with Revive & Restore, we started looking at what’s actually going on with extinction.”

Saving Sudan

“Humans have all but eradicated the northern white rhinoceros from the planet. Sudan, the last male northern white rhinoceros on Earth, is the last hope to bring the species back.”

Buzz Feed News
December 29, 2017

Can These Scientists Bring Back the Mammoth?

The Boston Globe
June 16, 2017

Welcome to Pleistocene Park

The Atlantic
April 2017

Heath Hen Revive & Restore

Resurrecting the Heath Hen

UnDark Magazine
October 14, 2016

group presentation Revive & Restore

Heath Hen Tops Extinction List

Vineyard Gazette
July 28, 2016

mouse on wheel of DNA cells Revive & Restore

Re-Coding for Conservation

Bay Nature
June 27, 2016

grey image with cells Revive & Restore

How the DNA Revolution is Changing Us

National Geographic Magazine
August 1, 2016

small black graphic Revive & Restore

Tweaking Genes to Save Species

The New York Times
April 16, 2016

blue with orange and purple head Revive & Restore

Heath Hen Project Advances Quickly

The Vineyard Gazette
March 5, 2015

small photo of forest and grass Revive & Restore

Heath Hen Raises Bar on De-Extinction Debate

The Vineyard Gazette
July 17, 2014

black and white photo with Bird in hands Revive & Restore

Heath Hen’s Boom Could Echo Again on Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard Times
July 16, 2014

two birds close up photo Revive & Restore

Why the Passenger Pigeon Went Extinct

Audubon Magazine
May/June Issue 2014

Reawakening Extinct Species

Quest, KQED
April 22, 2014

The Diane Rehm Show logo Revive & Restore

New Efforts to Bring Extinct Species Back to Life

The Diane Rehm Show
April 10, 2014

Bird image black and white Revive & Restore

Never Say Never; Heath Hen May Get Its Boom Back

The Vineyard Gazette
April 3, 2014

Orange Bird Close up Revive and Restore

The Mammoth Cometh

The New York Times Magazine
February 27, 2014


National Geographic

Bringing Them Back to Life: The revival of an extinct species is no longer a fantasy. But is it a good idea?

April 2013
Vol. 358, Issue 6365, pp. 951-954

By Carl Zimmer / Photographs by Robb Kendrick

“Other scientists who favor de-extinction argue that there will be concrete benefits. Biological diversity is a storehouse of natural invention. Most pharmaceutical drugs, for example, were not invented from scratch—they were derived from natural compounds found in wild plant species, which are also vulnerable to extinction. Some extinct animals also performed vital services in their ecosystems, which might benefit from their return.”