Every year, on average, between 0.01% – 0.1% species go extinct. There are roughly 2 million species on this planet, which means, 2,000 extinctions take place each year. Many activists groups argue humans accelerate or cause extinction of many species, while others argue extinction is a natural. Regardless, scientists have been researching how to sequence genomes of extinct species.
In December 2017, National Geographic reported that a team of researches believed that they had successfully sequenced the entire genome of a canine-like marsupial known as the Tasmanian Tiger, which went extinct from being hunted in 1982. A team of scientists at the University of Melbourne has now sequenced that genetic material and believes they could potentially bring the extinct species back through life through the cloning process. Many of the researchers working on the genome sequencing for the Tasmanian Tiger are of the mindset that if humans caused the extinction through hunting, we have a responsibility to bring back the species.
Despite this enormous about of progress, scientists stated that making a whole functional genome, as opposed to having a sequenced genome are two very different things. A lot of work needs to be completed before a functional genome is attainable, however, technology has pushed this research so far in the last twenty years, it will be exciting to see what the next twenty years will bring.