The rhino baby, a male, was born at 4:57am in the Budapest Zoo on the 22nd of October 2008. In June 2007, scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin artificially inseminated his mother, the rhino cow Lulu, with frozen bull semen. The rhino baby weighed 45 kilos.
It is in good health and was accepted by his mom. The birth is “an important success for species conservation and preservation of biodiversity”, says Dr. Robert Hermes, one of the IZW-scientists performing the insemination.
The successful outcome is reported in the current online edition of the scientific journal “Theriogenology” entitled “how to fertilise a rhino with cryopreserved semen”. For the first time the scientists were able to successfully inseminate a white rhino with cryopreserved semen that was frozen for 3 years at -196 °C in liquid nitrogen.
The 38-years old test tube-father Simba, from the UK, is now a first time father. Scientists turned to this older rhinoceros after two young bachelors at Colchester Zoo were unsuccessful in producing any offspring. To the surprise of the IZW scientists Simba's sperm cells were healthy and highly viable after a fertility examination and were therefore extracted and preserved in liquid nitrogen.
The sperm were frozen with a newly developed deep-freezing technology which is especially suitable for wildlife sperm. 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.
“This scientific success enables us to bring new gene material from the wild to the rhino conservation breeding without having to transport the animals”, tells Hermes. “In the future, reproduction experts can anaesthetise wild bulls, collect semen from them, and use the frozen sperm e.g. for breeding offspring in international zoos. This is a very important result for conservation efforts.
The Northern White Rhino population, in particular, could benefit dramatically from this procedure as there are only three, possibly four individuals left in the wild and only eight individuals in zoos worldwide. Via the establishment of this important method and the patented technology, scientists are hoping to be able to sustain the dwindling populations of these highly endangered species and when needed, fetch them from the “Ice“. The only bottleneck remaining is financing this operation. The IZW fights for every cent, but time is running out.
Christine Vollgraf | alfa
Study identifies RNA molecule that shields breast cancer stem cells from immune system
23.05.2017 | Princeton University
“Pregnant” Housefly Males Demonstrate the Evolution of Sex Determination
23.05.2017 | Universität Zürich
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy