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Hybrid embryos: An inkling of hope for white rhinos

Jul 05, 2018, 8:11 AM EDT
(Source: Ruth Hartnup/flickr)
(Source: Ruth Hartnup/flickr)

The world’s most endangered mammal, the northern white rhinoceros (NWR), isn’t going down without a fight albeit with some help from the culprit humans.

For the first time, researchers have developed hybrid embryos ready for implantation in a surrogate, as a desperate effort to bring the species back from the verge of extinction after the last male northern white rhino, Sudan, died in March, reports Mail Online.

The scientists fertilized eggs of a closely related sub-species, the southern white rhinoceros, with the sperms collected from the NWR males while still alive, and resulting embryos have a 50 percent chance to deliver a baby, writes Research Gate.

As conservation scientists’ aversion to new technology renders classic models of conservation ineffective, the hybrid embryo- route offers a measurable and reproducible approach to reviving near-extinct species.

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