During the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Robert Paul Lanza studied embryonic stem cells, tissues, and endangered species as chief scientific officer of Advanced Cell Technology, Incorporated in Worcester, Massachusetts. Lanza's team cloned the endangered species of gaur Bos gaurus. Although the gaur did not survive long, Lanza successfully cloned another cow-like creature, called the banteng (Bos javanicus). Lanza also worked on cloning human embryos to harvest stem cells, which could be used to treat dieases. While previous techniques required the embryo's destruction, Lanza developed a harvesting technique that does not destroy the embryo, forestalling many ethical objections to human embryonic research.

The Southern Gastric-Brooding Frog (Rheobatrachus silus) was an aquatic frog that lived in south-east Australia. In 2002, the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List declared the frog extinct, although no wild specimens had been reported since 1981. As the common name alludes to, the R. silus was a gastric-brooder, meaning that the female's eggs developed inside of her stomach. Weeks after ingestion, juvenile frogs escape through the mother's mouth. Because no other observed species performs this reproductive behavior, in the early twenty-first century R. silus became a target of the de-extinction movement that aims to resurrect extinct species. Researchers studied this frog's reproductive behavior and how the eggs and embryos escape digestion. Some scientists claimed that resurrecting this frog could result in future medical applications related to digestion and to reprogramming organ function, as during pregnancy, R. silus's stomach physiologically functioned as a uterus.

Multiplex Automated Genome Engineering, or MAGE, is a genome editing technique that enables scientists to quickly edit an organism’s DNA to produce multiple changes across the genome. In 2009, two genetic researchers at the Wyss Institute at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, Harris Wang and George Church, developed the technology during a time when researchers could only edit one site in an organism’s genome at a time. Wang and Church called MAGE a form of accelerated evolution because it creates different cells with many variations of the same original genome over multiple generations. MAGE made genome editing much faster, cheaper, and easier for genetic researchers to create organisms with novel functions that they can use for a variety of purposes, such as making chemicals and medicine, developing biofuels, or further studying and understanding the genes that can cause harmful mutations in humans.

Revive and Restore is a California-based nonprofit that uses genetic engineering to help solve conservation problems, such as saving endangered species and increasing the biodiversity of ecosystems. To facilitate their solutions, Revive and Restore utilizes genetic engineering, which is the process of making changes to an organism’s DNA, or the set of instructions for how an organism develops and functions. One of their broad solutions is genetic rescue, which involves imbuing populations of endangered species with a wider variety of traits to make them more adaptable to a changing environment. Their other solution is de-extinction, which takes a more radical approach by attempting to recreate extinct species that performed important roles in their ecosystems. While scientists working with Revive and Restore have helped advance genome editing technology on a theoretical and technical level, their research has also prompted practical and ethical concerns over the extent of permissible human interference with nature, even when attempting to conserve it.

In 2015, Revive & Restore launched the Woolly Mammoth Revival Project with a goal of engineering a creature with genes from the woolly mammoth and introducing it back into the tundra to combat climate change. Revive & Restore is a nonprofit in California that uses genome editing technologies to enhance conservation efforts in sometimes controversial ways. In order to de-extinct the woolly mammoth, researchers theorize that they can manipulate the genome of the Asian elephant, which is the mammoth’s closest living evolutionary relative, to make it resemble the genome of the extinct woolly mammoth. While their goal is to create a new elephant-mammoth hybrid species, or a mammophant, that looks and functions like the extinct woolly mammoth, critics have suggested researchers involved in the project have misled and exaggerated the process. As of 2021, researchers have not yet succeeded in their efforts to de-extinct the woolly mammoth, but have expressed that it may become a reality within a decade.