1. Preserved Tasmanian tiger pup being taken out of jar
2. Close up scientist
3. Various of preserved Tasmanian tiger pup
4. Scientist removing tissue from pup
5. Close up tissue being placed in tube
6. Close up pup's internal organs
27 May 2002
7. Various of stuffed Tasmanian tiger
8. Set up shot news conference
9. Cutaway media
10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Mike Archer, Director of the Australian Museum:
"Clearly the DNA we discovered is not extinct. It works. And it should, with further research, be able to code eventually for protein synthesis and other steps required to bring a complete Thylacine back to life. This now enables us to begin construction of a living DNA library which will contain and secure the entire recipe for the re-creation of the Tasmanian tiger."
11. Various black and white footage of the Tasmanian tiger
27 May 2002
12. SOUNDBITE: (English) Mike Archer, Director of the Australian Museum:
"We are on track. We're moving forward and we're crossing thresholds that many people told us would be impossible to cross. We are now further ahead than any other project that has attempted anything remotely similar using extinct DNA. What was once nothing more than an impossible dream, thank you Adam, has just taken another giant step closer to becoming a biological reality."
13. Various black and white footage of the Tasmanian tiger
14. SOUNDBITE: (English) Mike Archer, Director of the Australian Museum:
"We want a viable population. We don't want a strange animal pacing back and forth in a laboratory. That would be pointless, well, it may not be pointless, but what we really want to do is put that animal back where it belongs in the wild and for that we need a viable, reproducing population."
A major breakthrough in efforts to bring back to life a long extinct creature known as the Tasmanian Tiger by genetic engineering was announced by an Australian research team in Sydney on Tuesday.
The animal, named scientifically as the thylacine, was the largest known carnivore marsupial (a creature with a pouch to carry its young) until it was pronounced extinct in 1936 after decades of being hunted as vermin.
But professor Mike Archer, director of the Australian Museum, said DNA from a 130-year-old thylacine female pup specimen preserved in ethanol had been successfully replicated by a team of scientists at the museum.
Two other high quality tissue sources, including bone, tooth and dried muscle from male specimens, had also been found in the museum's collection. As a result, it would now be theoretically possible to achieve within a decade what has not so far been done anywhere in the world -- resurrect an extinct species, Archer told a news conference here.
He said if the cloning of the tiger was successful, it could generate attempts to revive other extinct species.
The thylacine, also known as the "Tasmanian Wolf" because of its superficial canine resemblance, was distinguished by a series of 15-20 dark brown vertical stripes down its back to its long tail.
Once found throughout Australia, it had all but disappeared from the mainland before white settlement began in 1788 and survived only in the island state of Tasmania. But local settlers blamed it for attacking sheep and hunted it mercilessly with traps, guns and poison baits, at one stage offering a bounty for each one killed.
It was officially declared extinct in 1936, but some people believe it still exists deep in the Tasmanian wilderness and there have been a number of recent reported sightings.