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Studying the Tasmanian Tiger

Scientists have recovered RNA from an extinct species for the very first time. Genetic material was taken from an 130 year old Tasmanian tiger specimen, which had been held at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Geneticists were able to isolate and decode RNA molecules from the tiger, which allowed them to study the biology of the cells and tissues of the extinct creature. It was previously thought that only DNA could be taken from ancient samples, but this study proved otherwise. The Tasmanian tiger was exclusively present on the island of Tasmania until 1936, when the last remaining tiger died. Now that scientists have the ability to study the RNA of the Tasmanian tiger, they can use that genetic makeup to potentially bring the animal back in some form.

Image via CNN


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