Bringing Back the Thylacine: Scientists Investigate Gene Editing to Revive Tasmanian Tigers from Extinction - Media News 48

Bringing Back the Thylacine: Scientists Investigate Gene Editing to Revive Tasmanian Tigers from Extinction

If successful, the project could be the first time an animal has been “de-extincted”

Scientists are undertaking a multi-million dollar project to bring Tasmanian tigers back from extinction and restore them to their historical range in Tasmania. The Tasmanian tiger, also known as a thylacine, was once Australia’s only marsupial apex predator. Around 3,000 years ago, the species’ range shrunk to include only the island of Tasmania. The members of the species, which looked somewhat similar to dogs, were heavily hunted after the European colonization of the area. The last-known Tasmanian tiger died in captivity in 1936, and the species was officially declared extinct in the 1980s.

Some scientists are seeking to undo the past. In partnership with the University of Melbourne, genetics tech start-up Colossal Biosciences & Laboratories recently announced plans to “de-extinct” the species. The University of Melbourne received a $5 million gift to spur the restoration project. The university’s lab has already sequenced the genome of a deceased juvenile Tasmanian Tiger. Professor Andrew Pask told the Guardian that that sequence is “a complete blueprint on how to essentially build a thylacine.”

Colossal Biosciences & Laboratories is a self-proclaimed “de-extinction” company. Last September, they announced plans to bring woolly mammoths back from extinction. For the Tasmanian tiger project, the company plans to transform stem cells from a living species—likely that of the fat-tailed dunnart—into thylacine cells using gene editing. They would then use those stem cells to create an embryo, which would then be gestated and birthed using either an artificial or surrogate womb. Pask thinks it’s possible to use this strategy to bring the species back from extinction within the next 10 years.

“We would strongly advocate that first and foremost we need to protect our biodiversity from further extinctions, but unfortunately we are not seeing a slowing down in species loss,” Pask told CNN. “This technology offers a chance to correct this and could be applied in exceptional circumstances where cornerstone species have been lost…Our ultimate hope is that you would be seeing [thylacines] in the Tasmanian bushland again one day.”

However, not all scientists are as optimistic about the “de-extinction” project. “De-extinction is a fairytale science,” Associate Professor Jeremy Austin of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s pretty clear to people like me that thylacine or mammoth de-extinction is more about media attention for the scientists and less about doing serious science.”

“There is no evidence that a thylacine could be made via cloning,” Hudson Institute Professor Alan Trounson added. “Nor could you make one by gene editing. Them fellas (sic) are lost, it seems.”

Hei

Related Posts

Alien Expert Mystified by ‘Glowing White Clouds’ on Moon, Claims Evidence of Extraterrestrial Activity in NASA Apollo 16

The conspiracy theorist has recently unearthed archival NASA photos snapped in 1972, during the Apollo 16 mission. The NASA photos appear to show “glowing white clouds”, which…

Couple’s Google Earth Discovery Leads to UK’s Largest Collection of Rare Marine Fossils Ever Found

A pair of amateur fossil hunters have discovered one of the largest collections of rare marine fossils found anywhere in the UK. The couple spotted a tiny…

Winged Marvel of the Ancient Seas: Aquilolamna milarcae, the Prehistoric Eagle Shark, Soared Through Oceans 93 Million Years Ago, Unveiling the Wonders of Evolution

It looked like a cross between a shark and a manta ray. An illustration of the newly described eagle shark, which lived in an ancient seaway 93…

Archaeologists discover the secret of a mysterioυs giaпt Nephilim skυll, capable of rewritiпg the history of giaпts.

It’s пo tall tale—the first complete aпcieпt skeletoп of a persoп with gigaпtism has beeп discovered пear Rome, a пew stυdy says. At 6 feet, 8 iпches…

Ancient Aussie Seas: Kronosaurus Queenslandicus Fossil Unveils Life in Inland Sea 110 Million Years Ago Down Under

Prehistoric crocodile fossil, Kronosaurus queenslandicus, believed to have lived in Australia’s great inland sea some 110 million years ago A world-famous specimen of a prehistoric marine reptile named…

Straпge Ritυals: Exposiпg Iпdoпesia’s Former Caппibals aпd Their Uпυsυal Practices.

The іпdіgeпoυs Dапi trіbe lіve іп the іsolated Bаliem Vаlley іп Weѕt Pаpυа, Iпdoпeѕia, апd were dіscovered by а Weѕterп ѕcieпtiѕt 80 yeаrs аgo. Hυпtѕmaп аre рictυred…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *