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
Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
Joint research project on wastewater for reuse examines pond system in Namibia
19.12.2016 | Technische Universität Darmstadt
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences