Science

Northern white rhino 'could be saved from extinction'

Northern white rhino 'could be saved from extinction'”

Scientists have raised hopes that the near-extinct northern white rhinos can be saved by the hybrid embryos from the frozen sperm of dead males.

An worldwide team of researchers using assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has combined eggs from the southern white rhino (SWR) with the cryopreserved sperm of a northern white rhino to create viable embryos and embryonic stem cells.

The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications on Wednesday.

In vitro fertilization is used in the cattle industry to breed more robust herds, and a Cape buffalo was conceived through IVF for the first time in 2016. (They now reside in a 700-acre enclosure in Kenya, where they are protected 24 hours a day by armed guards.) "I don't want to witness the disappearance of these animals right before our eyes just because we didn't care enough to do something about it". The pair is both female and both are infertile.

This lab achievement is a very early step towards the much longer-term goal of resurrecting a population of full-blooded northern white rhinos, said Jan Stejskal, director of global projects at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic and an author of the paper, in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Alternatively, if scientists are allowed to take eggs from the two living northern white rhinos, a pure-bred calf could be born.

The key question of whether scientists can produce pure northern white rhino embryos using this technique remains unanswered.

The NWR can only reproduce in the zoos very slowly.

Following the success of this trial, the team led by Thomas Hildebrandt has frozen the hybrid embryos for possible implantation in females of the southern white rhino species in the future. Female southern white rhinos will act as surrogate mothers.

Cesare Galli, whose Italy-based company Avantea has lengthy experience with the artificial reproduction of horses, said recent advances in stem cell technology could help the rhino preservation effort.

But Mr Hildebrandt stood by the effort, saying: "The northern white rhino didn't fail in evolution. They have a very high chance to establish a pregnancy once implanted into a surrogate mother", Hildebrandt said in a statement.

Until permission to harvest the eggs is granted, the team will move forward with implanting hybrid embryos into the southern white rhino surrogates. Additionally, the global team established stem cell lines from blastocysts of the SWR with typical features of embryonic stem cells.

To create the lab-grown embryo, researchers used thawed sperm from previously frozen northern white rhino males. These experiments gave hope that biologists will be able to turn such cells into full-fledged embryos of extinct animals.

The last hopes were pinned on four white rhinos, two males and females living in zoos and nurseries in the United States, the Czech Republic and Africa. "These techniques have the potential to help the other endangered rhino species, including the Sumatran rhino and the Indian rhino and and other large mammals such as the Gaur, a large Asian cow that is also at risk of extinction". Oliver Ryder, a conservation geneticist at the San Diego Zoo, collected skin samples from Sudan in 1986 as part of a rhino cell bank. The desperate logic of mixing subspecies and applying assisted reproduction technology is also being discussed regarding the Sumatran rhino.

"The concern in the conservation community is that people will hear this and think, 'We can save the rhinos with science and then become more complacent about the other strategies we have in action now, '" Roth said as cited by CNN. The researchers developed a special tool with a length of 152 cm, to produce oocytes of females transrectal through using anesthesia.



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


07 July 2018
Syria government, rebels reach deal on south
Almost 150 civilians have died since the government assault in the south began two weeks ago, according to the observatory. He said Syrian and Russian jets had pummeled towns across the southwest and villages near the border crossing.

07 July 2018
Tony Parker agrees to deal with Hornets, reports say
He's been with the Spurs for four of its five National Basketball Association championships and is a six-time All-Star. Tony Parker's time in San Antonio is over, after 17 seasons and four National Basketball Association championships.

07 July 2018
Elon Musk sending engineers to help Thai cave rescue
The aid offer from Musk comes amid an increasing sense of urgency for the 12 boys and their coach in a flooded mountainside cave. The billionaire entrepreneur said this would create an underwater air tunnel with the ability to "auto-conform to odd shapes".

07 July 2018
Anthony Bourdain Left His $1.2 Million Estate to His Daughter
Due to the fact that Ariane is a minor - the court will appoint a guardian to protect the estate's interest on her behalf. Previous estimates had pegged his fortune at $ 16 million .

07 July 2018
Roger Federer won 35 straight service points in rousing Wimbledon win
The Czech seventh seed was a dominant, nearly unstoppable force on Centre Court as she dispatched Azarenka 6-3, 6-3 in 72 minutes. The ninth-seeded American had struggled in the opening set of her first-round match with Johanna Larsson, but roared back to win.

06 July 2018
Feds using DNA testing to reunite migrant families
Because children can't be in jail with their parents, more than 2,300 families caught by Border Patrol were separated. Republicans are divided among hardliners and business-oriented moderates who don't see immigration as a threat.

06 July 2018
What’s Going On With The MoviePass Surge Prices
By keeping the $10-a-month plan as its base offering, MoviePass said its customers "still get the best deal possible". MoviePass recently passed 3 million subscribers, and is trying to draw in more as part of its plan to stay afloat.

06 July 2018
Russian Federation to blame WORLD CUP for Amesbury Novichok nerve agent poisoning
Novichok is a Soviet-designed nerve agent that experts say is far more potent than more familiar toxins such as VX or sarin. Hours later, at 3:30pm an ambulance was called back to that same address where a 45-year-old man had also fallen ill.

06 July 2018
Stop pretending to be Uruguayan: Suarez to Griezmann
Cavani, the main striker for Uruguay has scored three goals and is one of the top 5 contenders for the golden boot. As well as Mbappe, Uruguay will have another tricky French forward, Antoine Griezmann , to contend with.

06 July 2018
Airplane Love Story Unfolds After A Woman Switched Seats With A Passenger
Both are into fitness, both work as personal trainers, both are single, and both are based near Dallas. It seems social media has identified her, though most of her accounts have since been deleted.