Wednesday, 21 May, 2008 Science

Scientific Breakthrough: Extinct Animal DNA Revived in a Live Animal


For the first time DNA from the extinct Tasmanian tiger was brought to life in another living organism by Australian scientists.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia, in collaboration with the University of Texas, USA, have extracted thylacine gene from the extinct Tasmanian tiger and inserted it into a mouse and it functioned.

Though reviving the genes doesn't mean that the extinct animal will be reborn, it holds a potential for further research, revealing the biology of extinct animals and developing new biomedicines.

This breakthrough means that scientists can one day get the knowledge of much older specimens.

The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine was the world’s largest marsupial carnivore that was hunted to extinction in the wild in 1900s. The last Tasmanian tiger died in 1936 in Hobart Zoo in Tasmania.

Several young Tasmanian tigers were preserved in alcohol in museum collections, including Museum Victoria in Melbourne, where DNA from 100-year-old thylacine was isolated and inserted into mouse embryos to examine how it worked in a living organism. The mice produced collagen using thylacine gene, functioning in the developing mouse cartilage, which will later form the bone. The discovery became a result of nine year work for Australian and US scientists.

Earlier, scientists tried to extract DNA from extinct species, beginning with bacteria to mammoth and Neanderthals, but until now they didn't succeed in studying the role of genome in the development.

Powered by


65 votes

//6 Dec 22, 2009 04:35 AM | posted by: danielle
this is so awsome!!!! i would have never thought of a mouse bringing a extincted tiger back to life!!!!:)
61 votes

//4 Feb 04, 2009 10:25 PM | posted by: Ashley G.
I believe that the ability to reserect past extinct animals is very insightful. with every advancement in modern technology we achieve further capabilities that will i believe help modern day humans unlock the mysteries of the everexpanding subject of science.
44 votes

//3 Oct 31, 2008 01:17 AM | posted by: jim
im doing a scientific assignment on this i love it so much please email me with all the info you have
50 votes

//2 Aug 21, 2008 06:37 AM | posted by: Unknown
omg this is the colest thing ever. now if this is sucksessful we could now worry about extinction as much. it would still be a problem but not so much.and now generations to come will have the jos of getting to see all sorts of animals that used to be extinct. GO SCIENCE!!!!!!
47 votes

//1 Jun 22, 2008 02:59 PM | posted by: jack
is it realy possible???

wat is the basis of it??

please reply me at


Add your comment:

antispam code





Discover, share, comment and discuss with us on a variety of interesting stories. A lot of fascinating things are taking place every day around the globe and we welcome you to this world.