Researchers find easy way to cultivate Yambaru Kuina cells

A study group centering on National Institute for Environmental Studies, Iwate University, National Cancer Center Research Institute and others announced on Nov. 18 that they have developed a technology to create infinitely dividing (immortalized) cells that proliferate semi-permanently from cells derived from chickens and Yanbaru Kuina.

This marks the first time in the world that infinitely dividing cells of an endangered bird has been achieved.

The technology allows an easy way for scientists to study and conduct biological experiments of endangered birds at the cellular level. The studies can also be applied to infection control measures for wild birds, such as the Yanbaru Kuina.

The problem has been to secure a cell resource for study because birds’ cells are hard to culture compared to mammal cells.

Researchers extracted cells from Yambatu Kuina that were dying because of traffic accidents.

The infinitely dividing cells can be cultured easily, so the group scientists will utilize them in the future to study problems affecting Yanbaru Kuina such as infections and pollutants.