Highlights

  • Multi-million project to revive extinct species
  • Tasmanian tiger to be revived using gene-editing technology
  • Marsupial species extinct since late 1930s

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Multi-million dollar project to bring back Tasmanian tiger from extinction

The thylacine earned its nickname of Tasmanian tiger for the stripes along its back - but it was actually a marsupial, the type of Australian mammal that raises its young in a pouch.

A team of researchers in Australia and the US are undertaking a multi-million dollar project to bring back Tasmanian tigers back from extinction.

If the project comes to fruition, the Tasmanian tiger may live once again almost 100 years after its extinction as the last known marsupial died in the 1930s.

The team behind the project said that thylacine, which is the official name of Tasmanian tiger, can be recreated using stem cells and gene-editing technology, and the first thylacine could be reintroduced to the wild in 10 years' time.

The thylacine earned its nickname of Tasmanian tiger for the stripes along its back - but it was actually a marsupial, the type of Australian mammal that raises its young in a pouch.

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The population of Tasmanian tigers declined when humans arrived in Australia tens of thousands of years ago, and again when dingoes - a species of wild dog - appeared.

If scientists were to succeed in reviving the animal it would mark the first "de-extinction" event in history, but many outside experts are doubtful of the science behind it.

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