More than a century after its extinction, the thylacine has gone from reviled to beloved.
Sports teams are named after the extinct carnivore, and theater performed about them.
Even implausible reports of sightings stimulate waves of excitement.
Now that it’s extinct, scientists are trying to figure out what happened to the last remaining population.
They sequenced the RNA from a specimen stored in the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and they find evidence of gene-expression signatures that can compare to living marsupials and other closely related mammals.
There even are traces of RNA viruses.
This bodes well for de-extinction efforts, although it’s not clear how much this will help.
Next, they try to track down the specific microRNA isoform that could not have been confirmed without RNA evidence.
Lead author Emilio Mármol explains that Resurrecting the Tasmanian tiger or the wooly mammoth is not a trivial task, and will require a deep