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Result of “de-extinction” project not very encouraging

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At least not in rats:

For scientists studying de-extinction — the ambitious effort to resurrect extinct species — a paper that appeared in Current Biology in March was a sobering reality check. Thomas Gilbert, a genomics researcher and professor at the University of Copenhagen, led a team of researchers who tested the feasibility of de-extinction by sequencing the genome of the Christmas Island rat, a species that went extinct in the late 19th or early 20th century.

“Look, this is like the best-case scenario,” Gilbert said. The samples of DNA from the extinct species were relatively new and well preserved, and the extinct rat was very closely related to the standard brown Norway rat, for which there is abundant DNA reference data. This was a far cry from trying to figure out the DNA of some jungle cat from the Pleistocene, let alone a dinosaur. Reconstructing the extinct rat’s genome should have been relatively simple.

Yet despite their best efforts, the scientists were unable to recover nearly 5% of the Christmas Island rat’s genome. Many of the missing genes were related to immunity and olfaction, two highly important functions for the animal. “It’s not just the irrelevant stuff that you’re not going to get back,” Gilbert said. “And so what you’ll end up with is nothing like what went extinct.”

Yasemin Saplakoglu, “Why ‘De-Extinction’ Is Impossible (But Could Work Anyway)” at Quanta (May 9, 2022)

The paper is open access.

Jurassic Park was great sci-fi though.

Restoring ancient houses and cars is an honorable profession, often marred by 'restomods'. A restomod might lovingly restore the body of a '59 Dauphine, then replace its engine with a 700 HP monster V8. This project sounds like the preparation for a living restomod, more commonly known as Golem or Frankenstein. We can't find the blueprint for the rat's immune system, so we'll substitute a 700 HP bubonic plague sprayer. polistra
That sounds about right AaronS1978

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