Tech

Stem cells give hope to a declining wildlife population

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A paper recently published in a scientific journal Stem cells and development We share important advances in conservation. This can make the difference between survival and extinction of wildlife species that have been reduced to very small populations. Using fibroblasts stored in the San Diego Zoo Global Frozen Zoo, scientists were able to generate induced pluripotent stem cells north and south of the Southern White Rhinoceros. This important breakthrough is the first step in the complex process of producing gametes from dead non-reproductive individuals of these two subspecies.

“In the case of the functionally extinct Northern White Rhinoceros, the only hope of survival may be to create gametes from frozen cells in our lab decades ago,” said the lead author of the study. Said Dr. Marisa Korodi. Northern White Rhinoceros Geneticist at San Diego Zoo Global. “What we have done now is the first step to bring this variant back to life.”

San Diego Zoo Global has 12 northern white rhino fibroblast cell lines stored in frozen zoos. It is believed that the genetic diversity of these frozen samples may be sufficient to use this new advance to bring species back from the brink of extinction. However, scientists point out that this new technology can only be used if the living cells of an endangered wildlife species are preserved for the future.

“When Dr. (Kart) Benilske founded the Frozen Zoo more than 40 years ago, he didn’t know how important it was for the future,” said Dr. Oliver Ryder, director of conservation genetics at the San Diego Zoo Global. Says. .. “As species are becoming more and more endangered, we now recognize that what we have may be the key to saving these species. Rhino.”


Rhino Genome Results: Frozen zoo collections have the same diversity as living populations


For more information:
Marisa L. Korody et al, Northern White Rhinoceros Rewind Extinction: Genetically Diverse Artificial Pluripotent Stem Cell Bank for Genetic Rescue, Stem cells and development (2021). DOI: 10.1089 / scd.2021.0001

Courtesy of San Diego Zoo Association

Quote: Stem cells, reduced wildlife population obtained on February 22, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-02-stem-cells-dwindling-wildlife-populations.html (2021) Give hope to (February 22nd)

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Stem cells give hope to a declining wildlife population

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