Heres the Story cortesy of Yahoo news:
A University of Melbourne team has extracted genes from a tasmanian tiger and put them into a mouse embryo, reviving hopes that the extinct thylacine may one day be successfully cloned.
The DNA from the thylacine reproduced in the mouse’s body, showing biological function.
Dr Andrew Pask of the University of Melbourne’s Zoology Department says it is the first time DNA from an extinct species has been used “to induce a functional response in another living organism.”
The findings will be published in an international scientific journal tomorrow.
They show that one of the thylacine genes is similar to the mouse gene that develops cartilage and bone.
Professor Marilyn Renfree, who was also involved in the research, said the discovery was critical.
“For those species that have already become extinct, our method shows that access to their genetic biodiversity may not be completely lost,” she said.
However she said cloning a tasmanian tiger was still a long way off.
Dean of Science at the University of New South Wales, Mike Archer, led a project to revive the extinct animals through recovered DNA.
Professor Archer has told ABC Local Radio he believes that aim may now be within reach.
“The next question then is, well what if you did that with the whole of the DNA of the thylacine?” he said.
“Could you in fact bring back a thylacine? Technically I think this is pretty difficult at the moment but on the other hand this is one very significant step in that direction and I’m delighted.”
Professor Archer is hopeful the thylacine can be brought back in his lifetime.
“I’m personally convinced this is going to happen. We are working on a number of projects like this. I’ve got another group working on another extinct Australian animal and we think this is highly probable,” he said.
The last tasmanian tiger died in the Hobart Zoo in 1936.
This ignites the arguement of should we or shouldnt we….
If we have the chance to bring back extinct species should we?
Or is this setting a dangerous presedent and belittling the simportance of bio-diverse animals after if we can bring them back what does it matter…?
Your thoughts please….