Science with Jonathan Webb: Test-tube rhinos and parrot feather physics

Science with Jonathan Webb: Test-tube rhinos and parrot feather physics

An global team of scientists has now successfully created hybrid embryos from Southern White Rhino (SWR) eggs and NWR sperm using assisted reproduction techniques (ART).

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

The outlook for the species is dire: Both mother and daughter are infertile, and the last surviving male, Sudan, died in March at age 45.

The global team believes that assisted reproduction technologies used for other large mammals, including horses and cows, could be transferred to the surviving northern white rhinos as a way of boosting their reproductive capacity.

Jan Stejskal, a spokesman for Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic, which has a long history of rhino conservation, said scientists hope to travel to Kenya before the end of the year. Now scientists have created embryos of hybrid Northern/Southern white rhinos.

As Dr Roth explained, poaching is the primary threat facing all rhino species. The method involved extracting eggs from female rhinos, in this case, the southern white rhinos and fertilizing them with the sperms of the northern white rhinos. "They have a very high chance to establish a pregnancy once implanted into a surrogate mother", Hildebrandt said in a statement. But because the limited genetic material could lead to inbreeding, scientists may use preserved cells from 12 northern white rhinos to create stem cells that could be used to make embryos.

The northern white rhino may be saved from extinction using in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques, a groundbreaking new study has found. "So we will provide the opportunity for the creation of a northern white rhino herd in Africa in due course".

Iranian leader describes European Union proposals to save JCPOA as ‘disappointing’
The bank now has a policy of not lending to Iran and other countries listed as high-risk by a global terrorism financing watchdog. Iran is also anxious about continuing its oil exports to other markets and about being shut out of global bank payments systems.

For one, the creation of hybrid northern and southern white rhinos could lead to almost pure northern specimen after generations of inbreeding that would dilute southern genes.

He had made headlines a few months earlier, when conservationists in Kenya signed him up to Tinder in a bid to help fund his mating with a southern white rhino.

"The beauty of it is that we have a southern white rhino that is very closely related to the northern white rhino, and it's very likely that a southern white rhino could carry a northern white embryo to term", Roth said. Artificial insemination - an assisted reproductive technology - has been used to produce offspring with 60 mammals, including the giant panda, black-footed ferret and Asian elephant, and 35 non-domestic birds.

"Within three years we hope to have the first (northern white) rhino calf born", said Thomas Hildebrandt of Germany's Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, who co-led the work.

The researchers had to contend with poor-quality sperm.

"It would be awful", said Professor Thomas Hildebrandt of the Institute for studies of zoo and wildlife them. "We didn't have many options so we had to be realistic", he said.

Historical distributions of the northern (red) and southern (green) white rhino. A special device was developed to enable the operators to extract oocytes (unfertilised eggs) from the ovaries of anaesthetised female southern white rhino from a number of European zoos. San Diego Zoo is now evaluating six surrogacy candidates, and has already successfully artificially inseminated one with southern white rhino sperm.

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