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Science Magazine: “Cloning Goes Wild”, and the future of conservation is forever changed

Science magazine journalist Rachel Fritts interviewed Revive & Restore’s Lead Scientist Ben Novak for this newly published article, Cloning Goes Wild, to share the story of Elizabeth Ann, the world’s first cloned black-footed ferret and one of North America’s most endangered species. 

Elizabeth Ann recently celebrated her first birthday, a major milestone that makes her one of the first clones of an endangered species to reach sexual maturity. 

“Everything about Elizabeth Ann is much bigger than the science behind it, and it’s much bigger than helping the ferrets,” says Novak. “It’s about whether biotechnology can become a part of mainstream conservation.”

Fritts dives into the history and intended future for Elizabeth Ann, a project that Revive & Restore began leading in 2013, as well as other cloning for conservation projects, such as the endangered Przewalski’s Horse. She also highlights additional genetic tools we are exploring to save species and a new program on the horizon to bring biotechnology to threatened birds. 

You can read the full article online here, in print (Science, Vol 375, Issue 6577), or listen to Rachel Fritts discuss the piece on Science Magazine’s podcast