The Atlantic

The Chickens That Are Surrogates for Rare Breeds

A new way to revive rare breeds—and perhaps even endangered birds—from frozen cells
Source: Image courtesy of Norman Russell

In his lab at the University of Edinburgh, Mike McGrew is turning commercial egg-laying hens into surrogates for rare chicken breeds revived from frozen cells—a technique that he hopes one day might also be used to revive endangered bird species.

The problem with pulling this off has always been the egg. Chicken eggs are huge, relatively speaking. They are full of water and encased in a hard, brittle shell. All of

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