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
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy