With the help of genetic scissors: The Tasmanian tiger is said to have resurrected in Australia

A Tasmanian tiger at the Hobart Zoo, 1933.
World History Archive/Getty Images

A team of researchers led by Andrew Pask is trying to bring the extinct Tasmanian tiger back to life. The last known specimen died in 1936.

Scientists use CRISPR genetic scissors.

Technology may mean that more extinct animals like the Tasmanian tiger will soon recolonize the Earth.

The Tasmanian tiger has been considered extinct since 1936. This elegant striped animal is firmly entrenched in Australian mythology, enjoying semi-iconic status. It has allegedly been seen repeatedly over the past decades – but this has not been officially confirmed.

A group of researchers led by Australian genetics professor Andrew Pask plans to bring the predator, also known as Thylacine, back to life using complex genetic engineering. I mentioned her US CNET platform. As early as 1999 there were attempts to “revive” the Tasmanian tiger by cloning deceased specimens. However, the project led by paleontologist Michael Archer failed – and was discontinued in 2005.

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A revolution in research is CRISPR – the tool that Andrew Pask and his team now want to take advantage of. CRISPR, called genetic scissors, allows the genetic code of long-extinct species to be reconstructed. The technology is already being used by biotech company Colossal to bring the extinct woolly mammoth back to the Arctic by 2027.

To bring the Tasmanian tiger back to life, Andrew Pask’s team now needs to decode the entire genome of the Tasmanian tiger. Once they are successful, the next step is for the researchers to remove cells from the related species and use CRISPR to alter the genetic code. Expert Bask says a related marsupial species – the narrow-footed marsupial rat – is best suited.

as part of a Study from 2017 The genome of the Tasmanian tiger has already been completely decoded. Bask estimates that the transformation of one species into another will only become a reality in about ten years: “It depends on how the technology evolves over the next few years.”

However, some scientists have already criticized the “revival” of extinct species. A frequent criticism is that high costs may result in insufficient financial resources to be available to conserve existing species in the future. This, in turn, can be general Reducing biodiversity as a result.

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But for Andrew Pask, the Tasmanian tiger is a special case. Bask is convinced that reintroducing him to his native land – the Australian island of Tasmania – will bring benefits in the first place. However, such a project requires extensive monitoring and maintenance. It is impossible to predict exactly what effect the release will have on the entire local ecosystem.


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