Scientists hope to bring Malaysian rhinoceros back from extinction with stem cell technology – National Post

Posted: August 16, 2020 at 12:51 am

Efforts to get the two to breed had not worked.

He was the equivalent of a 70-year-old man, so of course you dont expect the sperm to be all that good, said John Payne of the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), who has campaigned for about four decades to save Malaysias rhinos.

It was obvious that, to increase the chances of success, one should get sperm and eggs from the rhinos in Indonesia. But right till today, Indonesia is still not keen on this.

ACROSS THE BORDER

Indonesias environment ministry disputed accusations of cross-border rivalry as a reason why Malaysias rhinos died out, saying talks continue on ways to work with conservationists in the neighboring southeast Asian nation.

Because this is part of diplomatic relations, the implementation must be in accordance with the regulation of each country, said Indra Exploitasia, the ministrys director for biodiversity conservation.

The Malaysian scientists plan to use cells from the dead rhinos to produce sperm and eggs that will yield test-tube babies to be implanted into a living animal or a closely related species, such as the horse.

The plan is similar to one for the African northern white rhinoceros, which number just two. Researchers in that effort reported some success in 2018 in producing embyronic stem cells for the southern white rhino.

But the process is still far from producing a whole new animal, say Thomas Hildebrandt and Cesare Galli, the scientists leading the research.

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Scientists hope to bring Malaysian rhinoceros back from extinction with stem cell technology - National Post

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