All the genes that the exotic Tasmanian Tiger inherited only from its mother will be revealed by an international team of scientists in a research paper published today (Jan. 13) in the online edition of Genome Research. The research marks the first successful sequencing of genes from this carnivorous marsupial, which looked like a large tiger-striped dog and became extinct in 1936. The research also opens the door to the widespread, nondestructive use of museum specimens to learn why mammals become extinct and how extinctions might be prevented. "Our goal is to learn how to prevent endangered species from going extinct," said Webb Miller, a Penn State professor of biology and of computer science and engineering and a member of the research team that includes scientists from the United States, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Germany. "I want to learn as much as I can about why large mammals become extinct because all my friends are large mammals," Miller said. "However, I am expecting that publication of this paper also will reinvigorate discussions about possibly bringing the extinct Tasmanian Tiger back to life."