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Wednesday, May 21, 2008
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DNA reactivated

LONDON: In a Jurassic Park-like experiment, scientists have resurrected genes from the Tasmanian tiger — a meat-eating marsupial that became extinct more than 70 years ago — by injecting them into mouse embryos. The Tasmanian tiger, the largest of the carnivorous marsupials, was wiped out by intensive hunting in the early 1900s. Researchers at the University of Melbourne and Texas University in Houston extracted DNA from museum specimens, the journal PLoS One reported. They isolated a string of genes from each and injected it into early-stage mouse embryos. Tests on the mice revealed that a gene called Col2a1 had switched on and was driving the growth of bone and cartilage in the young animals. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2008

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