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Chickens can also “surrogate”

  What if you want to have children, but you can’t have children? The current popular method for human beings is surrogacy, in which the fertilized egg is implanted into the womb of the surrogate mother to complete the whole pregnancy process. However, surrogacy does not just happen to humans. Now, scientists have found a way to make domestic chickens “surrogate”.
  This latest biological modification technology comes from the Roslin Institute of the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. This research has created the world’s first cloned sheep-Dolly is famous all over the world. And the method they used this time is also genetic modification. In order to produce a surrogate chicken, the research team will “knock out” the DDX4 gene of the surrogate chicken in advance. This is a key gene responsible for bird sperm and egg development. After this gene is lost, birds will not be able to lay their own eggs. Subsequently, this sterile chicken will be implanted with stem cells of another type of chicken. This stem cell will re-emerge the sterile chicken with “reproductive ability”. However, the egg laid by the sterile chicken will be the egg of the stem cell owner, and this There will not be any genes from sterile chickens in the breeding eggs.
  So, for which chickens are these surrogate chickens “birth”? You may have guessed the answer, and that is the rare chicken. These chickens have some very important characteristics, such as being able to resist bird flu, being able to provide humans with a higher quality meat source, and so on. Since chickens are the most consumed poultry species by humans, saving them is actually more valuable than resurrecting a mammoth.
  Previously, due to the complexity of poultry eggs, genetic manipulation of bird species lags far behind that of mammals. Scientists cannot save endangered species by freezing eggs, because the embryonic tissues inside the eggs will be frozen when they are in a too cold environment. Now, with the help of surrogacy technology, only stem cells from rare chickens are frozen, and then the stem cells are implanted into the surrogate chicken.
  A small amount of embryonic blood can grow millions of stem cells, which can be frozen for several years, and can be frozen in the refrigerator before being transplanted into “surrogate” chickens. So, you never have to worry about whether rare chicken species will become extinct. So far, the research team has collected more than 500 stem cell samples from 25 breeders, kept them in a refrigerator at 150°C, and established a poultry seed bank.
  In the future, researchers will try to use the same method to preserve rare poultry species such as geese and quail, and study how to let surrogate chickens “carry babies for these cross-species poultry.”

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