Is it, in principle, possible to revive an extinct species having no living close relatives but whose DNA and other tissues have been preserved?

What about the case where there are no living individuals of a species but there are some living somatic cells?

What about the case where only individuals of only one sex are alive?


1 Answer 1


This may absolutely be possible. Check this for some info. But really it appears that using somatic nuclear transfer, using the same principle used to generate Dolly, we may be able to recreate an extinct species by swapping in the genetic material into a new cell. One current problem that we face with this is that while the genetics should be fine in nuclear transfer, controlling proper epigenetic programming is difficult.

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    $\begingroup$ How would one go about raising the zygote if this processed occurred? With no living relatives, what would you use as a surrogate mother? $\endgroup$
    – C_Z_
    Apr 26, 2015 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ It depends, if there are close enough relatives its possible that the zygote could then be implanted in them. For instance it may be possible to regrow a woolly mammoth using an elephant mother to carrier the embryo. But this has not been done, this is now getting in to current leading edge science. $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2015 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ I only ask because the question specifically references "having no living relatives" $\endgroup$
    – C_Z_
    Apr 26, 2015 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ yeah that is true. honestly in that case who knows, I'm sure somebody at some point will be able to figure out how to grow an organism entirely in-vitro. $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2015 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ @TheNightman huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/27/… we will see soon :D $\endgroup$
    – inf3rno
    Apr 30, 2015 at 3:04

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