Rhino embryos made in lab

Rhino embryos made in lab

However, they consider the experiment to have been a success as it is the first northern-southern white rhino hybrid embryo created by in vitro fertilization to reach the blastocyst stage with a complex cell structure.

There may only be two female northern white rhinos left alive, but there is still hope the "doomed" species could come back from the brink of extinction. Now, only two members of the species remain-a 28-year-old female named Najin and her 18-year-old daughter Fatu, both of whom are housed at a Kenyan animal conservancy under constant armed guard.

"Our results indicate that ART (assisted reproduction techniques) could be a viable strategy to rescue genes from the iconic, nearly extinct, northern white rhinoceros", the team wrote in the journal Nature Communications. For now, these early embryos, called blastocysts, have been frozen.

An alternative strategy to resurrection would be to secure a safe habitat in the former northern white rhino's range of central East Africa, populate it with southern white rhino and let natural selection run its course.

There are concerns that because only two northern white rhinos remain it will create a limited gene pool and future rhinos will be at risk for a wide array of health problems linked to inbreeding and lack of genetic diversity.

However, with sperm available from just four male Northern White Rhinos, the scientists say this method alone won't be enough to restart a genetically diverse, self-sustaining population.

To my mind, the time to save the northern white rhino has passed. The good news, Hildebrandt tells the New York Times' Yin, is that researchers have a genetically diverse collection of cells to draw from and have already created 12 of these "reprogrammed" cells (albeit no egg or sperm cells).

More news: US envoy Pompeo to return to North Korea this week
More news: World powers back Iran oil exports despite U.S. sanctions threat
More news: Liberal Commentator, Former MSNBC Host Ed Schultz Dies at 64

There are 21 000 southern white rhinos, and they will be used as a surrogate mother. They are now being frozen and later will be implanted into a surrogate mother that will give birth to a hybrid offspring.

"In the meantime, we will carry on taking the best possible care of Fatu and Najin and the herd of southern whites specifically selected to one day, hopefully, become surrogates for northern white rhinos", Ol Pejeta said in a statement.

So scientists have used in vitro fertilisation to create embryos, the article in Nature Communications states. Even the eggs of elderly or infertile SWR have produced embryos successfully. "Previous attempts to establish a managed breeding program for this sub-species failed".

But genes from the northern white rhinos might live on.

But now, scientists have developed new assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) which could provide the beleaguered species with a lifeline. The embryonic stem cell lines obtained in this study have now been transferred to Dr Diecke's lab, as they will serve as a blueprint to differentiate iPS cells into germ cells and eventually gametes.

Terri Roth and William Swanson of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, in a comment on the study, said ART alone can not save a species from extinction.

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. We can not afford to adopt a cavalier attitude toward extinction, as though animals were something to bring back at our leisure, he said.

Related Articles

  • Hawaii bans sale of sunscreens with coral-harming chemicals

    Hawaii bans sale of sunscreens with coral-harming chemicals

    Oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are in most sunscreen products, are believed by scientists to be toxic to coral reefs . Critics say there aren't enough independent studies supporting the assertion that the chemicals harm coral reefs.

    Anthony Bourdain worth $1.21M at the time of his death

    The court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent their daughter Ariane's interests, because she's a minor. The will says that if Ariane had died before Bourdain, her nanny Myra Quizon would have received that money.
    Sales of Micron Chips Blocked in China Amid Trade Tensions with US

    Sales of Micron Chips Blocked in China Amid Trade Tensions with US

    The chipmaker said it would comply with the ruling, but would request the court to reconsider or stay its decision. Beijing is holding up United States chipmaker Qualcomm's proposed $44 billion takeover of NXP Semiconductors.
  • Harry Potter author sends Trump unending laughs

    Harry Potter author sends Trump unending laughs

    Rowling has responded with a great putdown - by literally laughing off his silly claim in a series of "hahahahaha" tweets. 'I capitalize certain words only for emphasis, not b/c they should be capitalized!' Take that, Stephen Colbert.
    China and Russian Federation  hit back at Trump tariffs

    China and Russian Federation hit back at Trump tariffs

    The higher USA tariffs went into effect just after noon in Beijing (0401 GMT). "And that's going to impact the stock market". It turns up the heat in an increasingly bitter trade war between the USA and its biggest trading partner.
    Hurricane Beryl forms in Atlantic

    Hurricane Beryl forms in Atlantic

    Due to its very small size, there is a greater-than-usual uncertainty in the analysis of Beryl's current intensity, NHC said. The National Hurricane Center is giving this system an 80 percent chance for development through the weekend.
  • Tony Parker considered offers from Spurs, Nuggets before choosing Hornets

    Tony Parker considered offers from Spurs, Nuggets before choosing Hornets

    The Spurs wanted Parker back in a mentorship role, but he will take on a significant role with Hornets behind guard Kemba Walker . Popovich has coached the team since 1997-98 and is the longest-tenured coach in the National Basketball Association .
    Wimbledon 2018: Federer storms through, Wozniacki out

    Wimbledon 2018: Federer storms through, Wozniacki out

    Novak Djokovic hit 31 winners, including 15 aces, in his 6-1 6-2 6-3 victory over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina on Court Two. The action has continued on day three at Wimbledon with bugs wreaking havoc during an upset result and the big guns firing.
    Chelsea ready to allow Willian join Manchester United

    Chelsea ready to allow Willian join Manchester United

    Barcelona has turned to the Brazilian after their main target Antoine Griezmann made a decision to stay at Athletico Madrid. I've not received any information about that. "I'm trying to focus on the national team at the moment".
  • Tennis Star Andy Murray Withdraws From Wimbledon

    Tennis Star Andy Murray Withdraws From Wimbledon

    Asked if he could have pulled out from Wimbledon , Murray told Sportsweek on BBC Radio 5 live: "Yes, it is still possible". Tomorrow, Roger Federer will take to Center Court to get the famous championships at SW 19 underway.
    The Meghan Markle British Accent Uproar Needs to Chill

    The Meghan Markle British Accent Uproar Needs to Chill

    Kensington Palace explained last night the Your Commonwealth Youth Challenge gives young people of the Commonwealth a voice. The event marked Prince Harry's first official undertaking in his new role as a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.
    Sweden are easy to analyse, difficult to beat - coach Andersson

    Sweden are easy to analyse, difficult to beat - coach Andersson

    Last time out the Scandinavian side booked their last eight spot by beating Switzerland 1-0 thanks to a goal from winger Emil Forsberg.