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Applying freeze-dried sperm conservation method to the protection of endangered animals―Kyoto University

   Dr. Takehito Kaneko and his team at Kyoto University began making an effort for the long-term storage of sperm in order to conserve endangered species of wild fauna, using a freeze-drying technique originally used for the production of instant foods.
   In 2012, the team succeeded in breeding mice and rats using sperm which had been preserved in a refrigerator for five years after being freeze-dried. This time, after restoring the freeze-dried sperm of chimpanzees and giraffes to their original states after about one month, the team could successfully fertilize eggs with those sperm.
   The conservation of sperm is generally done through liquid nitrogen freezing, which requires expensive equipment and maintenance. Freeze-dried sperm can be conserved in a refrigerator for a long time, and it can be conserved for at least three months even at a normal temperature.
   Dr. Kaneko said, “We would like to further advance our research so that eggs can be conserved by the same method.”
 
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Dr. Takehito Kaneko
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A glass container with freeze-dried sperm in it
= Photo provided by Dr. Kaneko
 
Contact : Institute of Laboratory Animals, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University
Phone or E-mail +81-75-753-9318