The Genetic Rescue Foundation Blog

The little bush moa genome

Scientists at Harvard University have assembled the first nearly complete genome of the little bush moa, a flightless bird that went extinct soon after Polynesians settled New Zealand in the late 13th century. The achievement moves the field… Read More

Fossil poop reveals critical role of giant birds in New Zealand’s ecosystem

When the first humans landed on what is now known as New Zealand 700 years ago, they didn’t find mammals. Instead, they discovered giant birds called moas, as well as a host of other indigenous bird species. Soon, they… Read More

What a moa wants

As the dust has settled on another New Zealand election and policy promises turn into policy implementation, it seemed worthwhile to reflect on what a fully restored ecosystem would look like in 21st century Aotearoa/NZ and how this… Read More

Manipulating the avian egg: applications for embryo transfer, transgenics, and cloning

In vitro production of germline chimeras and avian cloning may utilise the transfer of avian embryos from their original eggshell to a surrogate eggshell for culture during incubation. Such embryo transfer is valuable for avian cloning as the… Read More

De-extinction: more hype than hope – A rebuttal

Helen Taylor a genetics researcher at the University of Otago recently published this blog post that attempts to discredit The Genetic Rescue Foundation’s objectives. http://sciblogs.co.nz/wild-science/2017/03/08/de-extinction-hype/ The following is The Genetic Rescue Foundation’s response to this piece. I believe in… Read More

Contractors unearth giant moa bones in rural South Canterbury

Contractors discovered dozens of bones from what may be the tallest bird species recorded in what has been called an increasingly rare find. The bones of a female South Island giant moa were found with at least one… Read More

Bringing Back the Moa?

In The Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin asserts that “species and groups of species gradually disappear one after another, first from one spot, then from another, and finally from the world.” From the Darwinian perspective, species adaptation… Read More

Strike Two

For those of you following our efforts to sequence the moa genome my apologies for the delay in publishing this update. It took a bit of time for our latest batch of samples to find their way to… Read More

A Mummified Moa Helps Paleontologists Reconstruct Feeding Behavior

Let’s say you had a mummy of a giant extinct bird—what would you do with it? Marie Attard and co-authors had a brilliant idea. They stuck it in an MRI scanner to get a detailed look at its… Read More

Strike One

As previously mentioned Beth Shapiro and her team at the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab have been performing the initial sample analysis for our attempt to sequence the moa genome. Unfortunately the news is not good for our first batch… Read More

Moa revival vital to the survival of New Zealand’s remaining native bush

Whanganui Regional Museum natural history curator Dr Mike Dickison said resurrecting the moa in areas such as the Dart River Valley near Wanaka where they once thrived, could be vital to the survival of New Zealand’s remaining native… Read More

The Long Now Foundation Revive & Restore Project

The Long Now Foundation’s Revive & Restore project represents the most cohesive and formal effort to restore extinct species. The Moa is on the projects list of potentially revivable species. The best chance of turning the dream of… Read More