Friday, May 23, 2008

Resurrecting the Extinct Tasmanian Tiger

From BBC news via IO9 comes this piece of Jurassic Parkian weirdness. It would seem that there are plans afoot to restore the extinct Australian marsupial, the Tasmanian Tiger, and reintroduce it to its' native original habitat.

Australian scientists extracted genetic material from a 100-year-old museum specimen, and put it into a mouse embryo to study how it worked.

This experiment suggests the marsupial's DNA and therefor the animal itself may not be lost. The Tasmanian tiger was hunted to extinction in the wild in the early 1900s. The last known specimen died in captivity in 1936, but several museums around the world still hold tissue samples preserved in alcohol.

Full details of the Australian study are published in the open-access journal PLoS One.

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