The test-tube father called Simba is 38 years old and lives in the Zoo of Colchester, UK. The pregnant female is called Lulu. Her baby is due in November 2008. It will be her second baby. The first one, Layla, was also conceived by artificial insemination. At that time, however, the scientists had used fresh sperm from a male rhino that lives with Lulu in Budapest.
The fact that the scientists were able to use frozen sperm has far-ranging implications for the conservation of rhinos. „Now we can take sperm from free living rhinos and freeze it“, says Dr. Thomas Hildebrandt, scientist at IZW. „Then we will be able to use it in zoos all over the world.“ The sperm Hildebrandt and his colleagues had used was stored for three years in liquid nitrogen at minus 196 degrees Celsius. It was taken from Simba, a then 35 years old male rhino, in Colchester, UK. Tests had shown that Simba's sperm cells were highly vital although he was already quite old at that time. The sperm was frozen with a newly developed deep-freezing technology which is especially suitable for wildlife sperm.
In June, the IZW scientists thawed the sperm and implanted the re-vitalised cells deeply into the uterus of Lulu in Budapest. The specialists from Berlin used a non-surgical insemination procedure developed at the IZW. This international conservation project was carried out in close co-operation with the Veterinary University of Vienna. An analysis of the hormonal status by the Vienna specialists showed signs of a pregnancy. Then Dr. Robert Hermes from IZW carried out a sonography and confirmed that Lulu is four months pregnant. He says: „This result is enormously important for the conservation of rhinos.“ Particularly the Northern White Rhino could benefit as there are only three, possibly four individuals left in the wild and eight individuals in zoos worldwide. „We can take sperm from free-ranging animals and deep-freeze the cells. Thus, we would be able to use sperm from rhinos even after they were killed by poachers for instance.“
For the time being, all scientists involved hope that Lulu will stay healthy. Although her baby is only seven inches (16 centimeters) long and will not be due for more than a year, there are suggestions for the name of the baby; amongst the favorite names are „Ice“, „Frozen“ or „Cool“.
Josef Zens | alfa
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.08.2017 | Life Sciences