Tasmanian genetics – part 1

DNA from the extinct Tasmanian Tiger has been resurrected. The tassie tiger – actually the largest known carnivorous marsupial, and more properly called Thylacine – was declared extinct in 1936 when the last captive specimen (Benjamin, shown below) died at Hobart Zoo.

But this week, researchers at Melbourne University revealed that DNA from preserved specimens of thylacines had been inserted into mouse embryos and expressed the original function (in this case, the thylacine gene took over from teh the original mouse gene developing cartilage.)

This is a long way from Jurassic Park, but the parallels are intriguing…


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