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Will the Tasmanian Tiger Roam the Earth Once More?

For the past years —scientists have thought about reviving extinct species. Scientists in Australia and the U.S. have recently started a multi-million dollar project to bring back the Tasmanian tiger from extinction.

The stripes on the back of the Thylacine gave its nickname of “Tasmanian Tiger,” despite the animal being a marsupial, a type of Australian mammal that raises its young in a pouch, like a kangaroo, instead of a tiger.

The Tasmanian tiger went extinct in 1936 when the last known tiger, Thylacine, died in the Hobart Zoo. Years before humans arrived in Australia, these tigers roamed free. However, once humans started to populate Australia, the population of these tigers decreased. The last known tigers to roam free on the island of Tasmania were then hunted to extinction.

The team leading the project has recently stated that it may be possible to have the Tasmanian tiger back from extinction in ten years. The professor leading the research, Andrew Pask, has stated that in order to do so they plan on using stem cells and gene editing technology to recreate or at least replicate the Tasmanian tiger.

The news of reviving the Tasmanian tiger has received controversial feedback. Some people have expressed their doubts, such as Jeremy Austin, who is a researcher at the Australian Centre of Ancient DNA. He stated that “De-extinction is a fairytale science,” adding that reviving species is more for media attention than bringing these animals back to life.

If these scientists succeed in reviving the Tasmian tiger it would be the first “de-extinction“ in history. While this endeavor requires a lot of trials and failures in order to succeed in bringing back a species, it would represent a remarkable achievement for the researchers attempting it, and for the world of science.

[Source: BBC News ]

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