'Stemcell Zoo' Could Rescue Endangered Species, Even Revive Extinct Ones

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Scientists say they have produced the first stem cells from endangered species, a breakthrough that could potentially save dozens of animals teetering on the brink of extinction.

"The best way to manage extinction is to preserve species and habitats but that is not always working," Oliver Ryder, director of genetics at the San Diego Zoo and co-leader of the study, said in a statement on Sunday.

"Stem cell technology provides some level of hope that they won't have to become extinct even though they have been completely eliminated from their habitat."

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That is the case for the northern white rhinoceros, one of the first two animals included in Ryder's new "stem cell zoo".

Only seven specimens remain in existence, all in captivity and two in San Diego.

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