Feeds

World's first AI birth achieved using frozen rhino sperm

Horny Colchester perissodactyl in Budapest triumph

Intelligent flash storage arrays

An alliance of Eastern-European boffins has achieved what they describe as a "landmark technique for AI". The I in this case, however, stands not for Intelligence but Insemination, and the breakthrough is the the world's first live birth achieved using frozen rhinoceros semen.

Now that's what we call a (possibly literally) groundbreaking scientific development. It appears that top rhino-sperm institutes in Berlin, Hungary and Vienna came together (cough) to impregnate "a 30 year old female rhinoceros" in Budapest Zoo. Apparently the scientists had to make two attempts to get the job done.

The rhino-bothering boffins made use of "semen collected from a 35-36 year-old Southern white rhinoceros" resident in the UK's Colchester Zoo some years previously, which had been frozen and stored before being thawed out for the successful Budapest caper.

"Techniques for AI in rhinoceros have improved in recent years," it says here, "and the first live birth by AI occurred in 2007."

But:

That instance used fresh semen from a male rhinoceros in the same zoo, limiting the widespread use of the technique. By demonstrating that frozen semen could be thawed and used to successfully inseminate a female at a remote location, the researchers have opened a new avenue ...

Semen samples can be collected and preserved from both wild and captive populations to maintain a genome resource bank and to boost reproduction in these megaherbivores.

There was no word on just who would be doing the collection of semen from wild rhinos, but the scholarly article detailing the success was written by Dr Robert Hermes and his colleagues Messrs Göritz, Saragusty, Sós, Molnar, Reid, Schwarzenberger, and Hildebrandt of the various institutions involved.

The brainboxes believe that the technique will help to prevent many rhino species becoming extinct. They say there are less than 20,000 of the hefty, irascible horn-conked creatures left worldwide, and some kinds of rhino have as few as four living members left in the wild.

The full article can be found in Theriogenology: An International Journal of Animal Reproduction. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that PONG? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.