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"Offspring" Created from Frozen Fish

Japanese researchers say they've come up with a way to reproduce fish from frozen specimens. They say the method could help protect endangered species.

Scientists at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology say they found living stem cells from rainbow trout that had been kept frozen for 3 years.

They transplanted the cells into another kind of trout and grew them to develop eggs and sperm. They say the process has yielded offspring of the original rainbow trout.

Earlier studies had suggested that frozen fish eggs lose their reproductive ability. Goro Yoshizaki led the research team. He says the method could allow scientists to create what he described as a "time capsule of genetic resources."

"If the environment becomes more inhabitable for the fish in the future," he said, "I want to open up the time capsule and release the fish."

The researchers hope to use the method first to preserve a rare type of salmon from a lake near Tokyo.

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