When Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, died in March, leaving just two females still alive, the world mourned the "functional extinction" of an animal that once roamed in many thousands across the plains of central Africa. But now an international scientific team has unveiled ambitious plans — backed by successful experiments — to resurrect the northern white through assisted reproduction and stem cell research. The first stage, reported in the journal Nature Communications on Wednesday, has been to create hybrid embryos, using preserved sperm from northern whites and eggs from the other white rhino sub-species, the southern white. "These are the first in-vitro-produced rhinoceros embryos ever," said Prof Thomas Hildebrandt of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, the project leader. "They have a very high chance of establishing a pregnancy once implanted into a surrogate mother." The next step will be to show that transfer of the in-vitro fertilisa...

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