Restore and Revive is a California based non-profit biotechnology and wildlife conservation company researching genetic techniques for preservation of endangered and restoration of extinct species. The company explores genomic technologies to enhance biodiversity through the sustainability of endangered species by making them acclimatize to a shifting climate or resistant to a severe disease while pursuing 'de-extinction' research. Using the DNA sample from preserved remains of extinct species, scientists can create a complete sequence of their genome. The genome allows them to create and edit genes in a close living relative in hopes of reviving an extinct species.
Revive & Restore works to better understand threatened ecosystems and other threats to wildlife through creating a global network of scientists, and investing in biotechnology companies related to wildlife conservation through their own venture capital platform called the Catalyst Fund. In August 2018, Promega Corporation pledged $3 million over the next three years to the Catalyst Science Fund. This is the first corporate pledge to the fund.
As a proof of concept, in 2003, scientists were able to clone an extinct species called Pyrenean ibex, which resulted in a calf. It only survived for a few minutes, but it led to much curiosity about ‘de-extinction’ and fueled new research. Restore and Revive is working to further this research and experiment with extinct species like Passenger pigeon (extinct: 1914 A.D.), Woolly Mammoth (extinct: early Holocene epoch), and Heath Hen (extinct: 1932 A.D.).
The passenger pigeon is at the forefront of their research. Being extinct over a century ago, the available DNA is degraded, which introduced some gaps in the genome. For this reason, identical replication was an impossible thing to do. Scientists are planning to introduce extinct genes to their closest living relative, Band-tail pigeon, in hopes of reviving traits of the extinct species. This process may go on from gene editing to selective breeding across multiple generations to collect and enhance unique traits of the extinct species. Restore and Revive have set goals to hatch first generation of Passenger species by 2022 for captive breeding and aims to release the bird into the wild in 2034.
Conservation of endangered species
Revive and Restore works on the conservation of endangered species like Horseshoe crab and Black-footed Ferret. It is developing genetic rescue techniques that could help make a species resistant to disease and adapt to changing weather and habitat. Sylvatic plague is a disease found in Black-footed ferret, but its cousin, the domestic ferret, is entirely resistant. The company plans to use gene-editing tools to bring the resistance gene to the Black-footed ferret. Revive and Restore expects the Black-footed ferret to be a model for developing genetic rescue techniques applications for other species.
Ocean Genomics Horizon Scan
The project will scan for genomics in the marine ecosystem. It aims to diagnose significant threats to the marine health and ecosystem by studying marine biodiversity and interview with over 100 marine biologists, conservationists, and technologists. The project allows scientists to explore possibility of using biotechnology to tackle the loss of marine ecosystems and restore diversity.
Revive & Restore is headquartered in Sausalito, California working on wildlife conservation research and development that was founded in 2012 by Ryan Phelan and Stewart Brand. The project initially started as a project within The Long Now Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit company.
Meet the Scientists Bringing Extinct Species Back From the Dead
Amy Dockser Marcus
Promega Commits $3 Million to Revive & Restore Science Fund Supporting Catalytic Research Bridging Biotech and Conservation