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Zoo Biol. 2016 Jul;35(4):280-92. doi: 10.1002/zoo.21284. Epub 2016 May 3.

Rewinding the process of mammalian extinction.

Author information

1
The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany.
2
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany.
3
Institute of Stem Cell Research, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Center Munich, Neuherberg, Germany.
4
San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, Escondido, California.
5
Department of Chemical Physiology, Center for Regenerative Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.
6
Avantea srl, Laboratorio di Tecnologie della Riproduzione, Cremona, Italy.
7
Dipartimento Scienze Mediche Veterinarie, Università di Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia, Italy.
8
Fondazione Avantea, Cremona, Italy.
9
Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, Japan.
10
San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, California.
11
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Univeristy of Teramo, Campus Coste San Agostino, Teramo, Italy.
12
Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.
13
School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
14
Tiergarten Schoenbrunn, Vienna, Austria.
15
ZOO Dvůr Králové, Dvůr Králové nad Labem, Czech Republic.

Abstract

With only three living individuals left on this planet, the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) could be considered doomed for extinction. It might still be possible, however, to rescue the (sub)species by combining novel stem cell and assisted reproductive technologies. To discuss the various practical options available to us, we convened a multidisciplinary meeting under the name "Conservation by Cellular Technologies." The outcome of this meeting and the proposed road map that, if successfully implemented, would ultimately lead to a self-sustaining population of an extremely endangered species are outlined here. The ideas discussed here, while centered on the northern white rhinoceros, are equally applicable, after proper adjustments, to other mammals on the brink of extinction. Through implementation of these ideas we hope to establish the foundation for reversal of some of the effects of what has been termed the sixth mass extinction event in the history of Earth, and the first anthropogenic one. Zoo Biol. 35:280-292, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Zoo Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

KEYWORDS:

assisted reproductive technologies (ART); biodiversity; conservation; endangered species; gametes; induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs); public awareness; rhinoceros

PMID:
27142508
DOI:
10.1002/zoo.21284
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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