Alex Travis, associate professor of reproductive biology in the Baker Institute for Animal Health in Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and other Cornell researchers succeeded in producing the first litter of puppies through in vitro fertilization. This is not only a significant breakthrough in terms of reproductive technology, but also means that a door has been opened for conserving endangered canid species. “We can freeze and bank sperm, and use it for artificial insemination,” Travis says. “We can also freeze oocytes, but in the absence of in vitro fertilization, we couldn’t use them. Now we can use this technique to conserve the genetics of endangered species.”
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