This is Science Today. A research geneticist at the
University of California, Davis has discovered several
genes are responsible for the unpredictable way a
female responds to fertility drugs. Dr. Jimmy Spearow
says his findings may benefit endangered species.
Spearow: There's a lot of endangered species that are only being held in reserves and zoos and many of these do not adapt well to captive breeding. So if we understood better in terms of the genetic differences in how the reproduction is controlled, we could do a much better job of inducing them to reproduce in captivity, even under less than optimal conditions.
Narrator: Using the same dose of a fertility
drug, Spearow found some mice ovulated nine eggs per
night while others 54 eggs. The genes linked to these
major differences have been mapped and once identified,
could be one way of controlling reproduction.
Spearow: More and more species are becoming
extinct, so this has applications to understanding
how we can improve the reproduction of some of those
endangered species because if they don't breed, they're
not going to reproduce. We will lose them for sure.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.