IVF researchers create the world’s first test tube puppies
Researchers have succeeded in creating IVF dogs, after years of failures.
Despite succeeding in achieving vitro fertilisation for humans – the process by which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body – the process is not always so easy for dogs.
For over 40 years, fertility researchers have struggled to reproduce the procedure for canine kind, in a bid to understand more about the way it works.
However, this month scientists confirmed they had managed to create the world’s first live IVF puppies – in a major breakthrough in fertility research.
Researchers from Cornell University revealed the breakthrough in the Public Library of Science ONE journal.
Reproductive biology professor Alex Travis, of Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said: “Since the mid-1970s, people have been trying to do this in a dog and have been unsuccessful.”
In order to succeed, scientists had to overcome hurdles in simulating the female reproductive tract, and ensuring the eggs had reached the right stage of maturation.
Dr Travis added: “We made those two changes, and now we achieve success in fertilisation rates at 80% to 90%.”
Of 19 embryos implanted in the surrogate mother, seven healthy puppies were born – five Beagles, and two Beagle-Cocker Spaniel cross-breeds.
Scientists say the news could have “major ramifications” both for fertility and for wildlife conservationists.
Watch a clip full of puppy cuteness below: