Almost 100 years after its extinction, the Tasmanian tiger might come back to life.
Scientists at The University of Melbourne have dedicated their efforts to reviving the animal and reintroducing it to its native habitat on the Australian island of Tasmania.
The tiger, also known as a thylacine, was once Australia’s only marsupial apex predator but they were hunted to extinction. If the project is successful, it would be the first de-extinction event in history.
Scientists are using gene editing technology and stem cells from living marsupial species with similar DNA to make the reincarnation of sorts happen. The ultimate goal is to be able to restore the species and reintroduce them to the ecosystems where they played essential roles.
The project was made possible with a $5 million donation and a partnership with Colossal Biosciences, a genetic engineering company. The same company is also working on a project to bring back the woolly mammoth to life.
The project has been met with some criticism within the scientific community. Associate Professor Jeremy Austin from the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA called de-extinction a “fairytale science” and criticized the scientist on the project for not doing “serious science.”