Stem Cells to Save Endangered Species Essay

693 Words Apr 19th, 2016 3 Pages
Thomas 1

There are 16,928 species listed as endangered and 905 listed as extinct in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List criteria (Tobin, 2010). Many ways have been discussed on how to prevent these endangered species from adding to that list of 905, but most have failed. The most basic and probably most efficient way to end extinction of species would be to stop invading their habitats. However, that won’t happen. So, scientists have dug deeper into biology and are testing stem cells on these endangered animals in an effort to put them back at a sustainable level of species survival. This stem cell research is a very good strategy to help these endangered species and prevent their extinction. Stem cells
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These rhinos and also the drill primate are some of the main species tested with stem cell research. The research being done will definitely help; it’s just a matter of time. Enough research must be done to make the therapy effective enough to do much good before the species goes extinct. There is a “Frozen Zoo” which has been created as part of the San Diego Zoo, which contains many types of cells from over 800 species. Oliver Ryder is a study researcher at The San Diego Zoo who works with this Frozen Zoo. He says, “The best way to manage extinctions is to preserve species and their habitats, but that’s not working all the time. Stem cell technology provides some level of hope that they won’t have to become extinct even though they’ve been completely eliminated from their habitats” (Niles, 2011).
If scientists can get stem cells to differentiate into sperm or egg cells, they could take skin cells from long-dead animals in the Frozen Zoo, trigger differentiation into sperm cells, and combine those with a living animal’s eggs using in vitro fertilization. This could potentially bring back that species into a stabilized population. Another option resembles cloning. If both sperm and egg cells can be produced by the stem cells, they can create an embryo and plant it inside a living animal (Scripps Research Institute, 2011). This research could definitely

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