(SCIENCE ALERT) – The process of freeze drying really is punching above its (very light) weight. It makes for a delicious chocolate-covered strawberry, gives astronauts expanded food options, and now, the technique could be used to store DNA and cell information for cloning purposes.
With a success rate as low as 0.2 percent, freeze drying of cells still has a long way to go before becoming a standard cloning and storage strategy, but it's a really exciting step.
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"Maintaining biodiversity is an essential task, but storing germ cells as genetic resources using liquid nitrogen is difficult, expensive, and easily disrupted during disasters," researchers, led by Sayaka Wakayama from the University of Yamanashi in Japan, write in their new paper.