Back to life

Published: Friday 30 June 2000

Scientists at the Australian Museum in Sydney say that they are close to bringing back the extinct Tasmanian tiger to life. The animal became extinct in 1936. According to a report in London's The Telegraph , the scientists have been working on this project for over a year, after they found a perfect specimen of a Tasmanian tiger pup in a jar of alcohol. The pup has been preserved since 1866, and in April this year, tissue samples were taken from the heart, liver, muscle and bone marrow for analysis. This is the first time such a high quality DNA -- essential to the success of the project -- has been extracted from an extinct animal, claim the scientists. Don Colgan, head of the museum's evolutionary biology unit, said he was confident that the work had provided his team with multiple copies of nearly every Tasmanian tiger gene.

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