Scientists want to bring the extinct Tasmanian tiger back to life. The return of the animals to Tasmania may restore the balance between the island’s ecosystems, according to TVP Nauka.
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The American biotechnology company Colossal Bioscience, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Melbourne, plans to “revive” the Tasmanian wolf, also known as the Tasmanian tiger. The largest representative of carnivorous marsupials lived in Australia and New Guinea. Over time, its occurrence was limited to Tasmania – an island located off the southeast coast of the Australian continent – indicates TVP Science.
With the arrival of Europeans in Tasmania, The animal was considered a pest and was exterminated by man on a large scale. The Tasmanian tiger was the last representative of the wolf family. The last known specimen died at the Hobart Zoo in 1936.
The Tasmanian tiger is an icon in Australian culture. We are thrilled to be part of the team and to restore this unique species that previously annihilated humanity from the planet, says study co-author Dr Andrew Pask from the University of Melbourne.
The scientists will first take stem cells from a genetically similar Australian colt. These small, mouse-sized mammals are also representative of marsupials. Then, using gene-editing technology, they’ll transfer the collected material into Deerewolf cells. Thanks to this, it will be possible to create an embryo. The final stage will be the transfer of the resulting embryo to the artificial uterus or its insertion into the body of the fat tail.
There are many well-preserved museum specimens that contain intact DNA. Dr. Pask explains that this makes “reassembling” this genome much easier than it was in the older samples.
Make the Tasmanian tiger extinct The imbalance of ecosystems in Tasmania. In addition, the event negatively affected the biodiversity of the island. Predator restoration to native areas may limit habitat degradation by other invasive species – TVP Nauka notes.
Colossal Bioscience is also working to revive extinct woolly mammoth species. This is made possible thanks to the CRISPR genetic engineering method. Advances in genome sequencing may lead animals that died in the Holocene to return to the Arctic soon. This, in turn, is expected to help combat climate change.
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