Danish research: Freeze DNA to save endangered species

Christian Wenande
April 4th, 2016

This article is more than 7 years old.

Cryobank could help preserve genetic material

“Black rhino in fridge number one. Siberian tiger in number two. Mountain gorilla in freezer three,” an itinerary might reveal in the not too distant future.

Ciro Pertoldi, a researcher at Aalborg University, wants to set up a cryobank to save the endangered species of the world.

In collaboration with Aalborg Zoo and Randers Regnskov, Pertoldi has applied to a number of funds for the 15 million kroner needed to establish the cryobank.

“It’s important to act now, because every species that disappears cannot be recreated,” Pertoldi told DR Nyheder.

“We want to create a genetic bank, which also serves as a fertility clinic, where sperm and eggs are stored so that we can recreate the same organisms one day.”

READ MORE: Denmark ‘ruins’ deal that protects endangered marine species

A frigid future
A cryobank could potentially store genetic material from endangered animals, such as leatherback turtles and orangutans, at minus 80 degrees.

According to Pertoldi, about one third of the world’s mammals are threatened with extinction.


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