Bringing back to life

Published: Friday 15 October 1999

  A mission possible: cloning< australian scientists have launched a programme to bring the extinct Tasmanian tiger back to life. They are pinning their hopes on a Tasmanian tiger cub, preserved in alcohol for more than 130 years. The Australian Museum unveiled a new trust that will fund research aimed at resurrecting the specie.

The best hope, experts say, may lie with the tiger cub which has been preserved since 1866. John Shine, executive director of Sydney's Garvan Institute said, while the plan "sounds a bit like fiction," parts of the tiger cub's genes could be cloned. The bigger question was whether that could finally result in a living animal, an experiment that is yet to be carried out with genes from a dead animal. However, Shine said he was confident the process could succeed eventually given the huge advances in gene technology.

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