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Research and Rescue: A new piece in Longreads about De-extinction, Revive & Restore

by Ahmed Kabil on October 29th, 02019

Ashley Braun has recently written a feature for Longreads about de-extinction. Her piece profiles Revive & Restore‘s efforts to bring the passenger pigeon and black-footed ferret back from extinction, and features interviews with past Long Now speaker Beth Shapiro and Revive & Restore’s lead scientist Ben Novak:

“De-extinction was never about creating replicas of extinct species. We can’t,” Novak says. Instead, he explains, it is about creating something that looks and acts like an extinct species, an imitation that can fill an ecological hole caused by extinction.

Novak works for the nonprofit Revive & Restore, which is exploring de-extinction for the passenger pigeon, heath hen, and woolly mammoth. But that “reviving” work is only part of his organization’s mission; the majority of its work focuses on restoring threatened species that haven’t yet gone extinct. Unifying this work, as Tom Maloney, the nonprofit’s former conservation science director, tells me, is the drive to explore and develop potential “genomic and biotech tools to address some conservation challenges today.”

Ashley Braun, Longreads