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The DNA of a frozen specimen was used to grow embryos

Australian scientists have successfully taken the first steps necessary for bringing back an extinct frog species.

The team, led by University of New South Wales paleontologist Mike Archer, has grown embryos with the revived DNA of the extinct gastric-brooding frog for the first time.

The gastric-brooding frogs were a genus of ground-dwelling frogs that were native to Queensland in eastern Australia. It was quite an extraordinary genus because it had the only two known frog species that incubated their offspring in the stomach.

However, the gastric-brooding frog became extinct in 1983.


Now, the research team has brought their DNA back to life. It did this by reviving frozen DNA samples of a gastric-brooding frog and inserting the genetic material into donor eggs. The donor eggs were those of a distant relative -- the great barred frog. But the great barred frog's DNA was deactivated by UV light.

As time went on, the cells began dividing, showing signs of growing embryos.

The embryos have not yet turned into tadpoles, but research shows that the dividing cells do, in fact, have the DNA of the extinct frog.

"We do expect to get this guy hopping again," Archer said.

While finding viable DNA and creating the frog embryos was no easy task, this opens the door to the possibility of bringing other extinct species back to life.

Source: smh.com.au





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