Only a Temporary Extinction?
Since late 1999, the Australian Museum has involved in a project unique in this world- the cloning of an extinct species, namely the Tasmanian Tiger. While no living representative of this species has been witnessed since the death of the last one in captivity in 1936, the museum possesses several preserved pups. While the ones that were preserved in formalin are unusable due to the effect of the preservative on the cell structure, there is a female pup that was preserved in ethanol. She is the linchpin of the cloning project, as this allowed intact DNA strands to persist. While the successful replication of individual Tasmanian Tiger genes, as detailed at http://www.austmus.gov.au/thylacine/newsrelease.htm,
does not mean there will be a living representive of the species any time soon, it does mark something singular. For the first time in human history, there is the indication that we may be able to bring back from the darkness of death and total extinction a unique species that was destroyed solely by our hands.