Progress in de-extinction genetics might bring extinct frog back to life

For the past six years, Australian researchers have had just one week every year to chase the stuff of science fiction dreams.

They’re working towards something incredible, the ability to bring species back to life long after they’ve disappeared from the earth – de-extinction.

For now scientists from The Lazarus Project – named for the biblical Lazarus of Bethany brought back to life by Jesus and not the decidedly average 2008 Paul Walker movie – are trying to restore Australia’s southern gastric-brooding frog.

The researchers made a major breakthrough in 2013, growing embryos containing the revived DNA of the extinct frog, the crucial first step in their attempt to bring a species back to life.

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They used an advanced technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer to insert dead genetic material from the extinct frog’s nucleus into the donor eggs of another species of living frog.

The scientists confirmed the breakthrough late last year when they found DNA from the extinct frog in several cells, proving beyond doubt the DNA was replicating.

But the team has hit a snag.

The DNA is replicating but the embryos aren’t developing properly.

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Along with the DNA from the extinct frog, the scientists found traces of the host frog’s supposedly de-activated DNA in the embryos and some of the cells.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the variety of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Lazarus Project: Scientists’ quest for de-extinction

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