MD Anderson scientists have put the DNA of the extinct Tasmanian tiger back into transgenic mice to see how it would function, according to a paper published in PLoS ONE. Finding that thylacine Col2A1 enhancer directed chondrocyte-specific expression in the tiger the same way it does in mice, this is the first time that DNA from an extinct species has been used to examine function in a living organism. "Up until now we have only been able to examine gene sequences from extinct animals. This research was developed to go one step further to examine extinct gene function in a whole organism," says Andrew Pask, one of the study's authors, in this BBC article.
Changing the Definition of Extinct
May 20, 2008