Saturday, 21 July, 2018

New hope for almost-extinct northern white rhino

Just one of two remaininn—but hopefully not for long Just one of two remaininn—but hopefully not for long
Cary Marshall | 06 July, 2018, 21:17

It's a feat that, in theory, would allow the research team to produce sperm and eggs from the cells, which could then hypothetically be used to create northern white rhino embryos, according to Roth.

There's a hopeful thread in a new study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications: For the first time, scientists have used in vitro fertilization to create viable rhino embryos.

The researchers will test their approach using southern rhinos as surrogates, but a complicated procedure (the females need to be anaesthetized for two hours) and a limited amount of northern sperm (just four dead males) doesn't give the scientists many chances.

Using in vitro fertilization (IVF), the researchers extracted sperm that had previously been frozen from NWR males and implanted it into eggs from the SWR to create the hybrid embryos.

"As for the cattle or horses, these methods have been applied for a long time, but it has been the first time with rhinos, when the blastocyst was successfully created", said the representative. It will be possible to bring back a complete northern white rhino, Ryder predicts, which would require an egg as well as sperm. Second, that they can be fertilised using IVF and developed to the "blastocyst" early embryonic stage (ready for transfer to a surrogate female) - and that this can be done as a hybrid of southern and northern rhino. "In our lab we were able to develop procedures to mature the oocytes, fertilise them by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and culture them".

Some experts have warned it could already be too late, however.

There were only two female Northern white Rhino.

Scientists say they've used human test-tube baby techniques to try to save the almost extinct northern white rhino.

It will then be planted into surrogate mothers (Southern White rhino), who are under heavy guard at the conservancy, the researchers said. "We used ultrasound to very precisely inject a needle into [the area of the ovary that releases] eggs".

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Hope is carrying the hope to prevent the extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

"Our results are solid, reproducible and very promising". Eggs, taken in the barren individuals of the southern white Rhino and the numbers of individuals of advanced age, has successfully produced embryos.

Hildebrandt insisted the effort is worthwhile. No northern white rhinos remain in the wild. The rhinos failed, as biologist and study author Thomas B. Hildebrandt told reporters Tuesday, because their hides were not bulletproof. The animals were killed for their horns, a gram of which valued more than gold and served as a status symbol for many.

He said that the disappearance of the northern white rhino, due to conflict and poaching, had left an ecological void but that scientists have the tools in our hands to correct that.

"What we've done is very similar to what's done to couples with fertility problems", Galli said.

However, latest scientific advances in stem cell research brought Dr Hildebrandt and his worldwide team new hope in resurrecting the species.

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 worldwide projects at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic and an author of the paper, in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The researchers have sought permission to harvest eggs from Najin and Fatu in Kenya, hopefully before the end of the year. The two remaining female northern white rhinos, who are infertile, were doomed to live out their lives as the last of their kind.

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