Written by By futurity.org Monday, 23 January 2012 16:02
Never before have induced pluripotent stem cells, which share many of the useful properties
Scientists have produced embryonic stem-like cells from the tissue of an adult snow leopard for the first time.
Never before have induced pluripotent stem cells, which share many of the useful properties of embryonic stem cells, been generated from a member of the cat family.
The breakthrough raises the possibility of cryopreservation of genetic material for future cloning and other assisted reproduction techniques, and offers hope for the survival of the endangered species, say the Monash University researchers.
The study, published in the journal Theriogenology, was led by graduate student Rajneesh Verma, and was supervised by senior researcher Paul Verma. The researchers used ear tissue samples taken from adult snow leopards at Mogo Zoo, in New South Wales, to generate the iPS cells.
Verma says the breakthrough was significant due to the difficulty of obtaining reproductive cells, or gametes, even from animals in captivity.