Extinct Tasmanian Tiger DNA Brought Back to Life


Melbourne | A genetic fragment of Australia’s extinct Tasmanian tiger has been successfully brought back to life by Melbourne researchers.

Dr Seymour Walbert and Professor Julia Svenmaker from the University of Melbourne have inserted part of a gene involved in bone growth from the fabled animal into the Tasmanian Devil, a genetically close relative.

“This is the first time that DNA from an extinct species has been used to induce a functional response in another living organism” says Dr Walbert, at the Department of Zoology. “No one has done this in a living organism before.”

“No one has done this in a living organism before” says Dr. Walbert

Despite the latest results, Professor Svenmaker admits it is “highly unlikely” that the entire animal can be resurrected in this way.

“Even though this is a successful technological breakthrough, there may be 20 years separating us from being able to reproduce a living species of the extinct animal”, claims the specialist. “But this is the closest we’ve ever been to bringing back strands of DNA into a living fetus, which is extremely encouraging for the future”.

The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was a large, meat-eating native Australian marsupial that was hunted to extinction in the wild in the early 1900s. The last-known animal died in captivity in the Hobart Zoo in 1936.

18 Comments on "Extinct Tasmanian Tiger DNA Brought Back to Life"

  1. James Nollase | May 1, 2014 at 6:09 am | Reply

    let’s revive the Megalodon!

  2. can you revive Planet Mars?

    • who says the planet Mars is dead? Just because we can’t see activity does NOT mean it isn’t there..it just means they are smart enough to hide when they see us coming in a huge, cumbersome space junk…lol. I bet they get a good laugh at us when we jump out in our big, bulky space suits…we must look like a smaller version of the Manatee…No grace out of water!

  3. Yeah this sounds like a great idea! Let’s play God by bringing these extinct creatures back that we killed off in the first instance so we can fuck them up all over again! Nothing says we are all powerful beings like killing off something twice right?

    • Stop “godding” up every conversation.

    • Doesn't Matter | May 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm |

      For real… Every species has a valuable existence on earth, if we can bring one back, we will only be rebalancing nature and our ecosystems, if at all, even slightly. Look up what a trophic cascade is, its the amazing and EXTREMELY POSITIVE effect of adding a predator to the top of the food chain, where one previously existed. You’d think many more animals would die, but the effects of culling overpopulated species by top predators has an amazing cascading effect that causes many if not all species beneath it to flourish. “Trophic Cascade” Look it up.

    • We “played God” by hunting them into extinction. they were meant to be here.

    • Ian Malcom | May 2, 2014 at 10:16 pm |

      We played God. So let’s stop playing God. Trophic cascade is not positive or negative either, it is an ecological process. There surely has been a trophic cascade by taking off this species. But ecosystems evolve, let’s protect the processes, Evolution, and not trying just to construct the world as it was before. Letting such an animal coming back from its grave could just have terrible consequences on ecosystems as they should have changed since for this century. Conservation it is not taking a picture, conservation is letting things happening as they should : migration, mutation… So let’s protect what is here presently this is much better than playing with genomes. “Trophic Cascade” Look it up.

    • We played god when we slaughtered the whole species.

    • We destroyed something in the garden of nature that is owned by god. It is a matter of course to repair what we destroyed. He may even expect that from us.

    • I agree what this person is saying all we doing is playing god with this extinct animal to do what with it just kill it all over again

  4. Akshay Menon | May 1, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Reply

    Humans (Highly Intelligent & Stupid)
    – Trying to get themselves killed since childhood.

  5. What`s the value of an extinct species? Its niche has gone with it!

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