The entire genome of the dodo has been sequenced raising hopes that the bird could be brought back from extinction.
Beth Shapiro, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told a Royal Society of Medicine webinar that her group would soon publish the complete DNA of a specimen in the Natural History Museum of Copenhagen.
The flightless 3ft (90cm) tall bird was wiped out in the 17th century just 100 years after it was discovered on the island of Mauritius.
Not only was it hunted by humans, it also became prey for the many dogs, cats and pigs brought with the sailors as they explored the islands of the Indian Ocean.
Asked whether the dodo genome had been completely sequenced, Prof Shapiro said: "Yes, the dodo genome is entirely sequenced because we sequenced it.
"It's not been published yet, but it does exist and we're working on it right now. I tried for a long time to get DNA from a specimen that's in Oxford.
"We got a tiny little bit of DNA... but that particular sample didn't have sufficiently well-preserved DNA."
She said that the team had now found "a fantastic specimen" in Denmark.
"So we have a very high-quality, high-coverage, dodo genome which will soon be published," she added, but warned that it still could be tricky to bring back the bird.
"Mammals are simpler," she said. "If I have a cell and it's living in a dish in the lab and I edit it so that it has a bit of dodo DNA how do I then transform that cell into a whole living breathing actual animal? The way we can do this is to clone it, the same approach that was used to create 'Dolly the Sheep', but we don't know how to do that with birds because of the intricacies of their reproductive pathways.
"So there needs to be another approach for birds and this is one really fundamental technological hurdle in de-extinction.
"There are groups working on different approaches for doing that and I have little doubt that we are going to get there but it is an additional hurdle for birds that we don't have for mammals."
The dodo takes its name from the Portuguese word for "fool" after sailors mocked it for its apparent lack of fear of armed hunters.
It is closely related genetically to the Nicobar pigeon, and it is likely scientists would edit pigeon DNA to include dodo DNA if they wanted to bring back the species.
Mike Benton, professor of vertebrate palaeontology, University of Bristol, said it would be preferable to bring back a dodo, rather than an animal from further back in time because it could survive in today's environment.
However he said it may not completely resemble exactly the extinct bird.
"The dodo is a popular bird and it's one you can make a case for bringing back," he said.
"If you bring T Rex back to life maybe that wouldn't be the popular thing as it would run riot and cause havoc.
"But bringing back something that wasn't so ancient would be much more feasible. The dodo has a known habitat that is readily available.
"In terms of engineering the dodo, you would face all the problems that people have faced and the reality of generating of a whole new species, whether you could inject parts of that dodo DNA into a modern pigeon and somehow generate a dodo, it would probably not look anything quite like what we would expect a dodo to look like."
Prof George Church, world-renowned geneticist, and his team at Harvard University, have been working for the past two years on recreating the DNA blueprint of the mammoth.
He also said it was easier to engineer a mammal than to bring back a bird like the dodo.
"Probably the easiest thing right now is to engineer a mammal," he said.
"But even if you can just bring some of the DNA back, those genes can be used in a whole variety of ways, for example restoring diversity to a species.
"It means that we are not limited to the last herd, we can go all over the world and backward in time and get diversity, and reach for individual parts of animals."