Genetic material was recently extracted from an extinct animal: a very important achievement for science.
Jurassic Park It is one of the most famous science fiction films of all time, and anyone who has watched it remembers the narrative pretext from which all the events of the saga begin.
For those who do not know or do not remember, in the film it is said that the process of cloning dinosaurs, which are now extinct millions of years ago, was performed. Extracting genetic material from old amber.
After the film was released, it was clear Dinosaur craze is widespread In general, towards animals that became extinct in past times, such as the dodo or mammoth.
Moreover, as often happens, a rumor also spread that what is shown in the film can be repeated in reality, i.e. Bringing dinosaurs back to life.
Although there are many people who still believe this today, paleontologists and the scientific community in general have always determined that what is seen in Jurassic Park It cannot be replicated in real life And it’s just science fiction.
At least until a few days ago when scientists made an exciting discovery to say the least.
Discovering genetic material in an extinct animal: an absolute achievement for the scientific community
We’re definitely not talking about a Tyrannosaurus rex or a Velociraptor, but another recently extinct animal: Thylacine.
The carnivorous specimen inhabited several Pacific islands including Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea.
Although it was more similar to a dog, it was more commonly defined Tasmanian Tiger.
Unlike dinosaurs that became extinct millions of years ago, this is the last specimen of dinosaurs Thylacinus cynocephalus Therefore, he died in 1936 Less than 100 years ago.
Some stuffed samples It is now preserved in museumsincluding the sample on which the studies mentioned in this article were conducted, which are located in Stockholm Natural History Museum.
For the first time in history, researchers were able to extract genetic material from an extinct animal: in particular, it RNAor ribonucleic acid, but unlike known DNA, it consists of a single strand.
It is involved in various biological roles including encoding, regulation and expression of genes, especially protein synthesis.
Can the thylacine come back to life? The researchers’ response surprised everyone
The study has been conducted before Emilio Marmol Sancheza paleogeneticist at Stockholm University and the Stockholm Center for Paleogenetics, emphasized how special this discovery is.
In fact, for the first time in history, it has become possible to sequence the RNA of an extinct species and thus discover it More information about the animal’s genetic heritage.
The researchers were able to extract ribonucleic acid from… leather And come on Skeletal tissue From a thylacine preserved in the Natural History Museum in Stockholm that became extinct about 130 years ago.
As was the case in the Jurassic Park days, in this case too there were a lot of people talking about them De-extinctionThat is, the process that brings extinct animals back to life, but Marmol Sanchez was clear about this.
In fact, the researcher specified that this experiment was done to gain more information about and perhaps access RNA as a whole Anatomy of virus genomesWhich consists of ribonucleic acid.
Being able to eliminate thylacines is certainly not the main goal of these researchers.
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