Scientists from the United States have created two types of stem cells from endangered animals
Scientists in the United States have successfully created stem cells from endangered animals, which is a breakthrough that brings hope to save them from extinction.
"The best way to prevent extinction is to protect species and their habitats, but that won't necessarily work," said David ryder, director of genetics at the San Diego zoo, who led the study. "Stem cell technology brings hope to keep species from disappearing from their habitats," he said.
Mr. Ryder's new stem cell zoo now has gathered samples from two endangered animals, one of which is the northern white rhino.
There are only seven northern white rhinos left in the world, all of them in zoos, including two at San Diego zoo.
Another sample was the drill, a critically endangered primate. If they were locked up, the drill develops diabetes.
Before 2006, ryder's team had collected skin cells and other tissue samples from more than 800 species. He later contacted professor lorraine at Scripps to explore the possibility of using the cell and tissue bank to grow and store stem cells.
Ryder and Lorraine finally succeeded after many experiments. The process is inefficient, producing just a few stem cells at a time, but still enough for researchers to create a "stem cell zoo," according to the report in the journal nature.
With a "stem cell zoo," researchers could then try to create sperm or eggs to help reproduce endangered animals in the lab.
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