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Scientists begin project to bring back the Tasmanian Tiger 100 years after it went extinct

Scientists have unveiled plans to bring back the Tasmanian tiger nearly 100 years after it went extinct.

The Tasmanian tiger, also known as the tyhlacine, roamed the Earth for millions of years before being wiped out by human hunting in the 1930s.

Now, Colossal Biosciences, a startup based in Dallas, Texas, has announced plans to begin “extinction” of the species, using stem cell technology.

Bringing back the thylacine will not only bring the iconic species back to the world, but has the potential to rejuvenate the Tasmanian and wider Australian ecosystems, which have suffered from biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation since the predator’s loss earlier this century. rebalancing,” Colossal Biosciences explained.

Scientists begin project to bring back the Tasmanian Tiger 100

Colossal Biosciences, a startup based in Dallas, Texas, has announced plans to begin “extinction” of the species, using stem cell technology

The thylacine was once common in Australia thousands of years ago, but died out a century ago (pictured)

The thylacine was once common in Australia thousands of years ago, but died out a century ago (pictured)

The thylacine was once common in Australia thousands of years ago, but died out a century ago (pictured)

How do scientists plan to bring back the Tasmanian tiger?

The scientists plan to take stem cells from the fat-tailed dun artery – a living species with similar DNA – and convert them into ‘thylacine’ cells using gene editing technologies.

New ‘marsupial-assisted reproductive techniques’ are then needed to use the stem cells to make an embryo.

Once an embryo is created, it would then be transferred to an artificial uterus or to a Dunnart surrogate to carry.

Once spread across Australia and New Guinea, the Tasmanian tiger disappeared from the mainland about 3,000 years ago.

For a long time it was thought that this was due to the competition with humans and dogs.

The remaining population – isolated on the island of Tasmania – was hunted to extinction in the early 20th century.

The last known person died at Hobart Zoo in 1936.

Colossal Biosciences is partnering with the University of Melbourne on an ambitious project to bring back the extinct species.

“This is a milestone for marsupial research and we are proud to partner with Colossal to make this dream a reality,” said Dr. Andrew Pask, head of the university’s Thylacine Integrated Genetic Restoration Research Lab.

“The technology and key lessons from this project will also influence the next generation of marsupial conservation efforts.

In addition, re-wilding the thylacine to the Tasmanian landscape could significantly curb the destruction of this natural habitat from invasive species.

‘The Tasmanian tiger is iconic in Australian culture. We are excited to be part of this team in bringing back this unique, keystone species that previously wiped humanity off the planet.”

The scientists plan to take stem cells from the fat-tailed dun artery – a living species with similar DNA – and convert them into ‘thylacine’ cells using gene editing technologies.

New ‘marsupial-assisted reproductive techniques’ are then needed to use the stem cells to make an embryo.

A colorized image of a Tasmanian tiger, the last of which died in 1936 (pictured)

A colorized image of a Tasmanian tiger, the last of which died in 1936 (pictured)

A colorized image of a Tasmanian tiger, the last of which died in 1936 (pictured)

The Colossal team is working with co-founders Ben Lamm (center left) and George Church (center right) to restore extinct species.

The Colossal team is working with co-founders Ben Lamm (center left) and George Church (center right) to restore extinct species.

The Colossal team is working with co-founders Ben Lamm (center left) and George Church (center right) to restore extinct species.

Once an embryo is created, it would then be transferred to an artificial uterus or to a Dunnart surrogate to carry.

“Andrew and his lab have made tremendous strides in marsupial research, pregnancy, thylacine imaging and tissue sampling,” said Dr. George Church, Colossal co-founder.

“Colossal is excited to provide the necessary genetic editing technology and computational biology to bring this project, and the thylacine, to life.”

If Colossal succeeds in saving the Tasmanian tiger from extinction, it hopes to return the animal to its native ecosystem in Australia.

“While re-wilding a species is a long and layered process, the creation of a proxy species of the thylacine has the potential to similarly restore ecosystems that keystone species lack,” it explained.

The Hemsworth brothers are among the investors backing the Melbourne project.

“Our family remains committed to supporting conservation efforts around the world, and protecting Australia’s biodiversity is a high priority,” said Thor star Chris Hemsworth.

To create an elephant woolly mammoth hybrid, researchers would take DNA from ancient specimens and combine it with artificial elephant stem cells to create a hybrid embryo.  This would come about in a surrogate mother or in an artificial womb

To create an elephant woolly mammoth hybrid, researchers would take DNA from ancient specimens and combine it with artificial elephant stem cells to create a hybrid embryo.  This would come about in a surrogate mother or in an artificial womb

To create an elephant woolly mammoth hybrid, researchers would take DNA from ancient specimens and combine it with artificial elephant stem cells to create a hybrid embryo. This would come about in a surrogate mother or in an artificial womb

“The extinction of the Tassie Tiger had a devastating effect on our ecosystem and we are excited to support the revolutionary conservation efforts being made by Dr. Pask and the whole Colossal team.”

The Tasmanian tiger isn’t the only extinct species Colossal hopes to bring back.

Last year, the company announced plans to revive woolly mammoths in the form of elephant-mammoth hybrids.

The program is designed as a way to help conserve Asian elephants by adapting them to life in the Arctic.

The team also claimed introducing the hybrids to the Arctic steppe could help restore degraded habitat and combat some of the impacts of climate change.

In particular, they claimed, the elephant-mammoth mixtures would knock down trees, helping to restore Arctic grasslands, which keep the soil cool.

It would also help these environments to better capture greenhouse gases.

WOOLLY MAMMOTS EXPLAINED: THESE GIANT NUMBERS TAKE CARE OF THE EARTH DURING THE PLISTOCENE 10,000 YEARS AGO

The woolly mammoth roamed the icy tundra of Europe and North America for 140,000 years and disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene, 10,000 years ago.

They are one of the best understood prehistoric animals known to science, as their remains are often not fossilized, but frozen and preserved.

Males were about 3.5 meters long, while the females were slightly smaller.

Curved tusks were up to 5 meters long and their underbelly had a fur of shaggy hair up to 1 meter long.

Small ears and short tails prevented vital body heat from being lost.

Their trunks had ‘two fingers’ at the end to help them pick grass, twigs and other vegetation.

The woolly mammoth is one of the best understood prehistoric animals known to science, as their remains are often not fossilized, but frozen and preserved (artist's impression)

The woolly mammoth is one of the best understood prehistoric animals known to science, as their remains are often not fossilized, but frozen and preserved (artist's impression)

The woolly mammoth is one of the best understood prehistoric animals known to science, as their remains are often not fossilized, but frozen and preserved (artist’s impression)

They got their name from the Russian ‘mammut’, or earth mole, because the animals were thought to live underground and died on contact with light – which explains why they were always found dead and half-buried.

It was once believed that their bones belonged to extinct giant races.

Woolly mammoths and modern elephants are closely related, sharing 99.4 percent of their genes.

The two species followed different evolutionary paths six million years ago, about the same time humans and chimpanzees went their separate ways.

Woolly mammoths coexisted with early humans, who hunted them for food and used their bones and tusks to make weapons and art.

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