San Diegos frozen zoo could bring extinct species back to life

October 28, 2016 by  
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The Frozen Zoo houses more than 1,000 species, but if you visit, you won’t see elephants or monkeys roaming about their enclosures. Instead you’ll see test tubes filled with cell cultures, stored in tubs of liquid nitrogen. All told, the samples take up slightly less space than a refrigerator. While the stored DNA is currently mostly used for research, conservationists hope it could one day be used to rebuild the populations of endangered species , or resurrect those that have gone extinct. The Frozen Zoo is run by the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research , housing genetic material from nearly 10,000 individual animals – some still alive, others long dead. A set of matching tanks houses a copy of the samples in a second, undisclosed location – just in case something happens to the originals. The samples in the Frozen Zoo come from institutions all over the world, including the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park . No animals are harmed during the collection process, which occurs either during routine health exams, or after the animal has died. The collection dates back to the 1970s , when UC San Diego pathologist and geneticist Dr. Kurt Benirschke began collecting frozen cells and reproductive material for the zoo’s recently-formed Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species. At the time, scientists had no way of knowing that the first example successful animal cloning was only two decades away. In that time, the Frozen Zoo has managed to accumulate perhaps the world’s largest collection of stem cells. Related: Researchers successfully splice woolly mammoth DNA into elephant cells While no extinct animals have been resurrected yet, the zoo already has an impressive list of accomplishments under its belt. The stored materials have been used to inseminate San Deigo’s beloved giant panda, Bai Yun, and the scientists at the facility are hard at work sequencing the DNA of animals ranging from African elephants to two-toed sloths. One high-tech project even involves using stem cell technology to revive populations of the endangered northern white rhino. In the coming years, projects like this may help turn back what some scientists are calling the world’s sixth mass extinction . Via GQ Images via  Franco Pecchio  and  playlight55  

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San Diegos frozen zoo could bring extinct species back to life

Spiraling Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory Honors the World’s Extinct Species

June 24, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Spiraling Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory Honors the World’s Extinct Species Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Adjaye Associates , Bowers Quarry , eco design , green design , Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory , MEMO , sustainable design        

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Spiraling Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory Honors the World’s Extinct Species

Australia’s Koala Bear Listed as Threatened Species Due to Deforestation and Climate Change

April 30, 2012 by  
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Koala Bear photo from Shutterstock The popular Koala bear has officially been listed as a “threatened species” by the Australian government as the marsupial species faces dangers caused by urban expansion and climate change. Populations of the treasured koala, a cute (if not cuddly) national symbol of Australia, have dwindled for some time after surviving threats throughout history from fur traders. Subsisting on a diet of only Eucalytus leaves, the Koala bear population has been nearly depleted as trees are cut down , and CO2 emissions erode the nutritional value of the remaining plants . Read the rest of Australia’s Koala Bear Listed as Threatened Species Due to Deforestation and Climate Change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: australia environment , australia government , Climate Change , conservation issues , deforestation habitat , eucalyptus leaves , eucalyptus trees , extinct species , global warming , habitat loss , koala australia , koala bear , new south wales , threatened species , vulnerable species

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Australia’s Koala Bear Listed as Threatened Species Due to Deforestation and Climate Change

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