Genome resource banking is the freezing of biological material from animals, such as sperm, embryos, tissue, blood and DNA, and is used primarily in the case of rare and endangered species. A number of zoos participate in the program, not as a way of replacing existing wild animals but as another way to protect and continue biodiversity. These frozen “assets” can be shared among zoos to protect against inbreeding or used in disease research. The National Zoo in Washington D.C. has already had success breeding cheetah cubs with artificial insemination and improving black-footed ferret reproduction using cryopreserved sperm.
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