Breeding Band-tailed Pigeons: a glimpse into the future of passenger pigeon de-extinction

By | De-Extinction, Passenger Pigeon

Ben Novak and Paul Marini The biggest challenges facing The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback will be obtaining germ cell cultures, engineering cells and birds), and then breeding and raising passenger pigeons that will survive and flourish in the wild. The underlying element to these challenges is handling live birds. As our project now is completing genome sequences and beginning to assess the mutations we will engineer into living band-tailed pigeons we face our biggest obstacle – establishing a research flock of pigeons for the purpose of recreating the passenger pigeons. Mid- 2014 our project gained a new advisor and project…

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Advice for Students with Interest in Genetic Rescue and De-extinction

By | De-Extinction

By Ben J. Novak We are frequently asked by students what education pathway should they pursue to develop a career in next generation conservation – such as biotech-based genetic rescue and de-extinction projects. Currently there are no education programs in the world that are designed for this kind of specialty, but any university with relatively customizable biology, genetics, and conservation science major programs can be tailored for a future in this line of work. Next generation conservation projects using biotech and genomics will be a highly interdisciplinary field, offering work for people with many specialties. It helps to decide early…

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De-extinction science – a summary by Stewart Brand

By | De-Extinction

Revive & Restore was pleased to host Beth Shapiro for a presentation on her book How to Clone a Mammoth on Monday May 11, 2015 at the Marines’ Memorial Theater at Union Square, San Francisco, CA. This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking. How to Clone a Mammoth Monday May 11, 02015 – San Francisco Audio is available on the How to Clone a Mammoth page, or you can subscribe to The Long Now Foundation’s podcast. De-extinction science   A summary by Stewart Brand When people hear about “ancient DNA” in fossils, Shapiro began, the first question always is “Can…

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Rethinking Extinction

By | De-Extinction

-By Stewart Brand This article was published on April 21, 2015 in Aeon. The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis Stewart Brand is president of the Long Now Foundation and co-founder of Revive and Restore. He edited the Whole Earth Catalog (1968-74) and his latest book is Whole Earth Discipline (2010). The way the public hears about conservation issues is nearly always in the mode of ‘[Beloved Animal] Threatened With Extinction’. That makes for electrifying headlines, but it misdirects concern. The loss of whole…

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Advances in Avian Transgenics

By | De-Extinction, Passenger Pigeon

A follow up to “Why birds are a challenge” by Ben J. Novak The next phase of The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback is approaching: the engineering of passenger pigeon mutations into living pigeons. The first requirement to do this is a flock of pigeons; the second is a viable method to creating engineered birds. Engineering birds is not difficult, but making engineered birds that are capable of passing on their engineered traits is a formidable challenge in the world of avian research. The key element in viability is that the passenger pigeon mutations we edit are incorporated into the germ…

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