Beth Shaprio Plans to Revive Dodo Bird

Beth Shaprio and Ben Lamm from Colossal Biosciences stand in front of a large replica of a dodo bird.

Read in USA TODAY:
“Shapiro, a professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz, led a group that announced in March 2022 it had sequenced the dodo genome. ‘I am thrilled to collaborate with Colossal and the people of Mauritius on the de-extinction and eventual re-wilding of the dodo,’ she said. ‘I particularly look forward to furthering genetic rescue tools focused on birds and avian conservation.’”
Read in Scientific American:
“The de-extinction of the dodo is ‘not a solution to the extinction crisis,’ Shapiro says. “Extinction is forever.” But by pursuing the problem of dodo de-extinction, she explains, Colossal Biosciences is also developing critically needed tools for avian genomics, including for the genetic rescue of currently threatened species, such as editing genetic diversity back into a shrunken, threatened bird population. In this way, a 21st-century dodo may assist all avian conservation.”
Read in CNN:
“‘We’re clearly in the middle of an extinction crisis. And it’s our responsibility to bring stories and to bring excitement to people in way that motivates them to think about the extinction crisis that’s going on right now,’ said Beth Shapiro, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.”
Read in The Guardian:
“Beth Shapiro, lead palaeogeneticist at Colossal, told the Guardian she had been fascinated by the dodo for more than two decades, since pursuing a degree in Oxford in 1999 where she saw a preserved dodo as a museum exhibit, and tried to persuade the museum to let her extract its DNA.
She said there were hundreds of dodos in collections around the world, meaning it had been possible to sequence the dead bird’s genome. But she warned that the revived dodo could never be an exact replacement for what has been made extinct. ‘What we are trying to do is to isolate the genes that distinguish the dodo,” she said. “It would be crazy to think the solution [to the world’s biodiversity crisis] was to bring back a proxy.’”
Read in VICE:
‘I’ve always been fascinated with the dodo,’ said Shapiro, who led the team that fully sequenced the dodo’s genome for the first time, in a call with Motherboard. ‘It’s the poster child, in a sad way, for how human habitat alteration can drive species to extinction.’
‘I think this is an opportunity where, given the man-made nature of the extinction of the dodo, man could not only bring the dodo back, but also fix what was done to parts of the ecosystem to reintroduce them,’ noted Lamm in the same call. ‘There’s a lot of benefits from a conservation perspective’”

Last modified: Jun 06, 2024