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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.