Pask, Andrew J. Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Last reviewed:February 2018
Show previous versions
- Genome sequencing
- Assisted reproductive technologies
- Genetic variation
- Suitable habitats
- DNA age limits
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The science of restoring an extinct animal or plant using advanced genetic and reproductive technologies. The concept of de-extinction was science fiction until the recent advent of advanced genome sequencing platforms. The technological breakthroughs provided by these platforms opened the door for the sequencing of even highly damaged deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragments from very old specimens and enabled the sequencing of the Neandertal and mammoth genomes. Both sequencing projects provided enormous insights into the biology of these species and sparked numerous ancient-DNA explorations in samples of other extinct species. Some of the most highly discussed candidates for de-extinction include the mammoth (Fig. 1), Tasmanian tiger (thylacine; Fig. 2), bucardo (Pyrenean ibex), passenger pigeon, dusky seaside sparrow (Fig. 3), and Australian gastric-brooding frog. Although sequencing the genomes of each of these species has been done or is an achievable goal, there is a huge gap—and one that science has yet to bridge—between defining the genome of an extinct animal or plant and restoring that species to the realm of living organisms. See also: Ancient DNA; Biodiversity; Biotechnology; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); DNA microarray; DNA sequencing; Extinction; Extinction (paleontology); Genetic mapping; Genomics; Mammoth cloning and de-extinction; Neandertal genome; Neandertals; Speciation; Species concept; Thylacine genetics; Zooarcheology
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 39 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information