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New DNA insight may open door to saving northern white rhino on brink of extinction

Northern White Rhino extinction


Genetic analysis has provided hope for the survival of a rhino sub-species that is perilously close to extinction.

When the world’s last male northern white rhino, Sudan, died in March, hope for the continued survival of his kind passed away with him.

However, since his death scientists have stepped up efforts to preserve the northern whites, employing the latest reproductive technologies to bring them back from the brink.

One of the key avenues being pursued is a “hybrid rescue” strategy, creating rhino embryos using sperm collected from northern whites before they died combined with eggs from the far more common southern variety.

Scientists hope that the resulting hybrid rhinos could be used to effectively resurrect this species, but there are concerns about whether they would grow up to be healthy and capable of producing offspring. MORE

Header image: Wikimedia Commons.

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