Posts Tagged ‘ivf’

Super cute kittens conceived by science

// March 18th, 2011 // 2 Comments » // Recent Research, Sex and Reproduction

african black-footed kitten

African black-footed kitten conceived by IVF

This little kitty is a rare African black-footed cat conceived through IVF in an attempt to keep the species alive.

About 40 of these cats live in zoos worldwide, while a few wild cats live in South Africa where they are protected, but sometimes poisoned and killed by farmers.

How could you poison these little kittens, they’re so CUTE!!! Ahem. So, I have been visiting Zooborns again, it’s a serious habit.

Let’s pretend this post is about something more than just cute pictures of cats, and talk about the science that conceived them.

Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species aim to protect seriously endangered species by creating a “frozen zoo”, banking genetic material such as eggs, sperm, embryos and tissue samples. Frozen, thawed sperm and IVF technology sparked the life of these kittens, which were really conceived six years ago and frozen as embryos.

The embryos were thawed and implanted into the surrogate mother Bijou in December last year.

african black-footed cat

Man, what did I DO last night?

It must be a bizarre experience for the mother, although I’ve heard tomcats have a barbed penis so perhaps she’s lucky to have skipped the usual event.

The frozen zoo contains frozen semen from the gorilla, Sumatran tiger, jaguar, Jabiru stork, and caracal. Other cell samples cover the African and Asian elephants, Baird’s tapir, colobus monkey, roan antelope, and black bear.

“The next step for us will be to clone the black-footed cat and transfer the embryo to a domestic cat surrogate,” said Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species Senior Scientist Dr. C. Earle Pope in the media release.

Cloning endangered species, is that a good idea or not? I can’t tell.

Day One Nobel Prize Week – Father of IVF wins Nobel for Medicine

// October 5th, 2010 // Comments Off on Day One Nobel Prize Week – Father of IVF wins Nobel for Medicine // Science Communication

This week is vegetarian week, and it’s also the week Nobel Prize winners are announced. Coincidence? I think not.

The 2010 prize for Physiology and Medicine was awarded to Robert G. Edwards for the development of in vitro fertilisation.

His initial success in creating a blastocyst outside the womb happened in Cambridge in 1968. The world’s first IVF baby was born ten years later in 1978. Since then the number of children conceived by IVF are around four million.

I find IVF incredibly interesting. It has not only given children to millions of parents, it’s also responsible for SCIENCE STUFF. Like countless discoveries into how embryo’s grow, and how to improve health during pregnancy.

I’ll keep you updated on the winners for Physics and Chemistry.






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