Scientists plan to create artificial rhinoceros eggs from stem cells to save the species from extinction

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists are working to create artificial eggs from stem cells to save the endangered northern white rhinoceros from extinction.

There are only two northern white rhinos left in the world. And they are females.

The current situation with the northern white rhino is extremely deplorable. There are only two of them left – Fatu and Najin. And they are females. Obviously, the northern white rhinoceros is close to extinction and does not have the possibility of natural reproduction.

Fortunately, scientists have frozen the sperm of the last male and are now able to revive the species. But for this you need an egg.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports , scientists from the BioRescue consortium were able to reprogram rhinoceros skin cells into stem cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells are able to transform into other cells in the body, such as eggs or sperm.

“Our paper sheds new light on pluripotency, the ability of stem cells to differentiate into all cells in the body,” the scientists write.

The researchers were able to make sure that the stem cells did not die during the transformation, which became “a promising starting point for the creation of germline cells . ”

But this is only the beginning. Scientists not only need to create primordial germ cells from stem cells in order for muscle growth and development to begin, but they also need to create ovarian tissue to surround the germ cells.

True, this is not the only way to save the endangered rhinoceros.

Fortunately, researchers are not only involved in the creation of the egg. They have already managed to reproduce 14 rhinoceros embryos using Fatou’s eggs and the semen of a deceased male.

If these strategies work, scientists could save and restore the northern white rhino population.

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