Freeze-drying mice might assist conservation

Japanese scientists cloned mice using freeze-dried cells, a technology they hope might help preserve species and improve biobanking.

The UN warns that extinctions are rising globally and a million species might perish due to human-caused factors like climate change.

Globally, facilities have opened to conserve endangered species samples for future cloning.

These samples are cryopreserved using liquid nitrogen or very low temperatures, which may be expensive and subject to power outages.

Scientists at Japan's Yamanashi University intended to tackle these challenges by freeze-drying somatic cells and cloning them.

While freeze-drying mouse cells killed them and damaged their DNA, they could still make cloned blastocysts, which grow into embryos.