The Azimuth Project
Revive and Restore

Revive and Restore, or RARE, is a project to bring extinct species back to life. Stewart Brand has proposed that the goal be “deep ecological enrichment through extinct species revival.” Genetic technology is developing so fast that amateurs may be able to revive extinct species within decades. So, they believe we should start developing publicly understood norms for doing this in a responsible way.

In February 2012, they ran a conference at Harvard University on bringing back the passenger pigeon. George Church, a genomic engineer at the Harvard Med School, figures that if you tried to bring back twelve strains in parallel, each with twelve mutations, it might cost $100,000 per strain, for a total of $1.2 million, and it might take five years.

RARE has arranged for grad student Ben Novak to intern at Church’s lab and refine his sequence data of ancient DNA from three passenger pigeon specimens, begin work on sequencing the band-tailed pigeon (the closest living relative of the passenger pigeon), and sequence DNA from the mourning dove—a possible hybridizing species with the passenger pigeon.

category: organizations