Researchers: 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.”
The interesting part will be to see whether—if both the animals and the environment have changed—reintroduction or recreation from advanced genomic techniques produces a viable independent species or a species that humans must indefinitely maintain.