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From Billions to None
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The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction

SPECIES REVIVED?



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  The De-Extinction Movement      
 

De-extinction, or resurrection biology, is a controversial concept that seeks to recreate a previously extinct species by using remnants of that species’ DNA. Revive and Restore, led by Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalogue, is supporting various scientists in attempts to revive the passenger pigeon, among other species. Passenger pigeon researcher Ben Novak, who is interviewed in the film, defends assertions that money would be better spent on conservation efforts. Biologist Stan Temple finds the concept intriguing, but has many questions, such as who decides which species to revive, and what might be the effect on the ecosystem?

On March 15, 2014, in Washington D.C., National Geographic hosted TEDxDeExtinction, a daylong conference on species-revival science and ethics convened by Revive & Restore. The complete talks by Ben Novak and Stan Temple are viewable below.

From more information on TEDx Deextinction Talks.




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Ben Novak
Ben Novak working in the lab. Biologists and others are debating whether itís a good idea to bring back extinct species.

band-tailed pigeons
DNA from living band-tailed pigeons, the closest living relative, will be combined with passenger pigeon DNA.

passenger pigeon
Ben Novak acquired the complete genome, or DNA map, from this passenger pigeon shot in 1860.



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