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Health & Fit Every Sumatran rhino has died in Malaysia. Scientists want to bring them back with cloning technology

14:16  14 august  2020
14:16  14 august  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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Scientists want to bring them back with cloning technology . Aug. 14, 2020, 7:59 a.m. (CNN) Iman, the last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia , died in November -- bringing the Now, Malaysian scientists are hoping to use tissues and cells from Iman and other dead rhinos to bring the population back .

The Sumatran rhinoceros is now extinct in Malaysia . The country’s last rhino , Iman, died of The number of Sumatran rhinos has dropped an estimated 70 percent in the past two decades, mostly How these threatened animals could bounce back . First Sumatran rhino captured in urgent bid to

Iman, the last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia, died last November -- bringing the endangered species one step closer to extinction.

a small elephant standing next to a tree: A Sumatran rhino in a protected region of Borneo near Lahad Datu, Malaysia, in October 2013. © John Grafilo/picture alliance/Getty Images A Sumatran rhino in a protected region of Borneo near Lahad Datu, Malaysia, in October 2013.

Now, Malaysian scientists are hoping to use tissues and cells from Iman and other dead rhinos to bring the population back.

The project, conducted by a team at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), focuses on stem cell technology and in-vitro fertilization. The process is similar to cloning technology, in that it aims to give birth to a new baby using cells from old rhinos, said Dr. Muhammad Lokman Bin Md. Isa, one of the lead researchers.

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Sumatran rhinos have been hard hit by poaching and habitat loss, but the biggest threat facing the species today is the fragmented nature of their Frankly it's hard for them to find each other to mate and breed successfully." Hopes rest on a last-ditch attempt to bring together male and female rhinos

Malaysia 's last male Sumatran rhino has died , leaving just one of the rhinos , a captive female, in the entire country, a region that was once replete with the The Sumatran rhino has a relatively long gestation period of about 16 months. Adult females usually have a single calf every four to five years

"Before the three rhinos (the last survivors in Malaysia) died, we got their cells, and the cells are still alive -- which is why I'm quite confident," Dr. Lokman told CNN. "If you don't have any cells, or if we just had tissue that aren't living anymore, we can't do anything with that. We can only put it in a book or museum. But now we have a living thing that we can use."

Here's how the process works: In collaboration with the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), the researchers collected cells and tissue from the last three Sumatran rhinos at BORA's sanctuary -- including Iman -- before each died.

The cells came from the rhinos' hearts, lungs, brains and kidneys. Crucially, the team collected stem cells -- basically, raw material from which cells with specialized functions can be generated.

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The Sumatran rhinoceros has become extinct in Malaysia , zoologists have announced. They also obtained her egg cells for a possible collaboration with other scientists to reproduce the Malaysia ’s last male Sumatran rhino died in May and another female rhino also died in captivity in 2017.

Conservationists have been trying to trap the critically endangered rhino for months in order to bring her to a Sumatran rhinos are solitary creatures. They ’re small compared with other rhino species, and Last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia dies . About 80 Sumatran rhinos in Indonesia are all that

There are then two possible approaches. The first is to develop these stem cells into an egg and sperm, to create an embryo that will be implanted into a surrogate mother. The surrogate will likely be another rhino, either a Sumatran rhino from another country or another species.

The second method is to take the egg of a surrogate animal, remove the nucleus, and join it with a Sumatran rhino's somatic cell. This technique was famously used to clone Dolly the sheep in 1996.

Lokman and his colleagues are trying both ways.

Because the stem cells self-replicate, the team has a decent stockpile and can try different methods to see which works best.

The team is still in the preliminary stages; next, they need to analyze the cells to create a genomic database, differentiate the stem cells, and work with zoos and conservancies to find a suitable surrogate female. There are a number of ways this could go wrong; the fertilization could fail, and even if it doesn't, the pregnancy could fail once the embryo is implanted.

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The survival of the Sumatran rhino now depends on the 100 or fewer remaining individuals in the wild in Indonesia and the nine rhinos in captivity. Leading scientists and experts in the field of rhino conservation state in a new paper that it is safe to consider the Sumatran rhinoceros extinct in the

The last Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in Malaysia was spotted two years ago in the Sabah region of Borneo but experts last month It’s the weirdest of all the rhinos . They meow like a cat,” Stuart said. “No one is going to get rich on Sumatran rhinos other than those illegally trading in

But there are signs of hope from similar projects around the world. A Kenyan conservancy houses the only two northern white rhinos left worldwide, Fatu and Najin, who are both female. Last year, scientists successfully fertilized in-vitro embryos collected from the two remaining females with sperm from dead males, which was celebrated as a major step forward in saving the subspecies.

The race against extinction

Iman died at BORA's Borneo Rhino Sanctuary last year, where she had been kept and cared for since her capture in 2014. She was 25, and had cancer, which was starting to cause her pain because a tumor was putting pressure on her bladder.

Her death came months after Tam, Malaysia's last male Sumatran rhino, died after suffering organ failure. Conservationists had hoped to breed Tam and Iman.

There are a number of factors that complicated these efforts; the female rhinos at the reserve turned out to be infertile, and plans to set up an international breeding collaboration ultimately failed due to "a series of incidents, some sociopolitical, some biological, and some simply bad luck," said Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation, in a statement after Tam's death.

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People have died in protests. I have not accepted defeat yet. These conflicts are going on everywhere. He pleaded with the company: "Please resolve this problem and give us back the 4 The company, which admits to having felled hundreds of thousands of acres of Sumatran forest in

Now scientists want to bring them back . The proposed airships would move cargo more efficiently They ’d do the work of traditional oceangoing cargo ships but would take less time and generate only “The Hindenburg used to do it. They had this path which would go from New York to Tokyo and then

Sumatran rhinos, the world's smallest rhino species, are listed as critically endangered by the World Wildlife Fund. The International Rhino Foundation estimates that there are less than 80 alive in the world.

With Iman's death, the IRF declared the species extinct in the wild in Malaysia; the remaining rhinos are scattered across Indonesia and Thailand.

The population's decline was initially caused by poaching for their horns, which were coveted as ingredients in traditional Asian medicine. Later, it was exacerbated by fragmented habitats and human encroachment on the environment, which prevent the rhinos from gathering and breeding.

The international trade in rhino horn has been banned since 1977, regulated by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), but individual countries determine their own laws that allow or prohibit its sale domestically, according to Save the Rhino.

There are now only five remaining rhino species worldwide, and all are threatened. Some sub-species have already vanished; the western black rhino, native to western Africa, was declared extinct in 2013 due to poaching. The last male northern white rhino died last year, which is what pushed scientists to try in-vitro fertilization with Fatu and Najin.

a man standing in a garden: Tam was the only male Sumatran rhino left in Malaysia before he died in 2019. © Borneo Rhino Alliance/Instagram Tam was the only male Sumatran rhino left in Malaysia before he died in 2019.

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