28 August 2013

In Japan, A Sperm Bank For Endangered Animals

Thinking way ahead, Japanese scientists have launched a sperm bank for endangered animals that uses an innovative freeze-drying technology, which will hopefully “help humans recreate animal populations on other planets” in the future.

So far, the team from Kyoto University’s Institute of Laboratory Animals Graduate School of Medicine has managed to preserve the sperm of two endangered primates and a giraffe.

By mixing the sperm with special preservation liquid before freeze-drying it, the organic substance can be stored at a relatively higher temperature of 4 degrees Celsius, a system that needs significantly less energy to maintain than the conventional way.

The technology not only makes genetic information more accessible to scientists, but also makes it possible to store the sperm at room temperature for short periods of time, such as during power failures.

The team is currently studying how this freeze-drying technology can be applied to the preservation of eggs as well.

[via Google News]