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URL: http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2019-11-08-creating-fake-rhino-horn-horse-hair-help-save-endangered-rhino
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Title: Creating fake rhino horn with horse hair to help save the endangered rhino | University of Oxford
Description: Scientists from the University of Oxford and Fudan University, Shanghai, have invented a way to create fake rhino horn using horse hair. Published in Scientific Reports they hope their method will provide a blueprint to create credible fakes that could eventually flood a market which has decimated the wild rhino population.
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Texto: Creating fake rhino horn with horse hair to help save the endangered rhino | University of Oxford Skip to main content Home Home Admissions Undergraduate Graduate Continuing education Research Divisions Research impact Libraries Innovation and Partnership Support for researchers Research in conversation Public Engagement with Research News & Events Events Science Blog Arts Blog Oxford and Brexit News releases for journalists Filming in Oxford Find An Expert About Organisation Facts and figures Oxford people Oxford Access International Oxford Building Our Future Jobs 牛津大学 Search News & Events Events Regular events in the University Year Black History Month at Oxford Race and the Curriculum Women of Achievement Science Blog Arts Blog Oxford and Brexit Latest University updates University to pay settlement fees for all EU staff EU referendum and Brexit: Analysis News releases for journalists Filming in Oxford Find An Expert Creating fake rhino horn with horse hair to help save the endangered rhino Image credit: Shutterstock Published 8 Nov 2019 Share This Tweet Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Home News Creating fake rhino horn with horse hair to help save the endangered rhino Creating fake rhino horn with horse hair to help save the endangered rhino Conservation Research Science Scientists from the University of Oxford and Fudan University, Shanghai, have invented a way to create fake rhino horn using horse hair. Published in Scientific Reports they hope their method will provide a blueprint to create credible fakes that could eventually flood a market which has decimated the wild rhino population. In Chinese medicine rhino horn is believed to have many benefits, including working as an aphrodisiac. In reality the sellers are often cutting the horn with ground up Viagra. Whatever the exact hidden blend may be, the undimmed demand for rhino horn continues to drive poaching with devastating effect for the few populations left in the wild. This study aims to provide a way to confuse and thus hopefully diminish the demand for real rhino horns by showing a way to a vastly cheaper copy that can be used to infiltrate the market. The horn of the rhinoceros is not a horn in the traditional sense like the horn of a cow or the nail of a hoof, though it does share some material properties. The rhino’s horn is actually a tuft of hair that grows, tightly packed and glued together by exudates from sebaceous glands, on the nose of the animal. In this proof of concept, the scientists bundled together tail hairs of the rhino’s near relative, the horse, and glued them together with a bespoke matrix of regenerated silk to mimic the collagenous component of the real horn. This approach allowed them to fabricate sample structures that were confusingly similar to real rhino horn in look, feel and properties. Analytical studies demonstrated similarities in composition and properties with natural and the faux horns. Head of Browse (or Black) Rhino drawn to life by Jonathan Kingdon showing to the right both length and cross sections of slivers of its horn. Head of Browse (or Black) Rhino drawn to life by Jonathan Kingdon showing to the right both length and cross sections of slivers of its horn. Rhino survival is critically challenged by the trade in its horn and other horn substitutes are being developed in the hope to undermine the market in this much sought after - if generally banned commodity. The authors of this study believe that it is important that plausible copies should be simple to produce while being very similar in both structure and chemical composition. And tail hairs from horses, glued together with a silk-based filler, seem to fulfil this condition. Importantly, this bio-composite is easily moulded into a rhino horn copy with a microstructure that, when cut and polished, is remarkably similar to that of the real horn.Co-lead author, Professor Fritz Vollrath, from the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology, said: ‘It appears from our investigation that it is rather easy as well as cheap to make a bio-inspired hornlike material that mimics the rhino’s extravagantly expensive tuft of nose hair. We leave it to others to develop this technology further with the aim to confuse the trade, depress prices and thus support rhino conservation.’ Co-author, Ruixin Mi, from the Department of Macromolecular Science, Fudan University, said: ‘Our study demonstrates that materials science can contribute to fundamental issues in biology and conservation. The fundamental structure of the rhino horn is a highly evolved and tough fibre reinforced bio-composite and we hope that our attempts to copy it will not only undermine the trade in rhino horn but might also find uses as a novel bio-inspired material.’ Listen below to Professor Fritz Vollrath discussing his discovery with Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week : Read the paper, ‘Creating artificial Rhino Horns from Horse Hair ’ in Scientific Reports. Latest The Prince of Wales to become an Honorary Fellow of Kellogg College 14 Nov 2019 What’s the story Morning Glory? Taxonomy, evolution and sweet potatoes 14 Nov 2019 More asylum seekers are facing long waits for decisions, with majority hosted in the north and Scotland 13 Nov 2019 Only 1 in 10 of the world’s largest energy companies have made plans to get to net-zero emissions 12 Nov 2019 Freshers celebrate starting university with ‘welcome to Oxford’ dinner 8 Nov 2019 FURTHER INFORMATION Department of Zoology Fudan University All news Share This Tweet Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Connect with us iTunes Youtube Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Weibo Instagram Medium The Conversation Information About Oxford University Strategic plan Oxford's research Fees and funding Libraries Museums and collections Open days Oxford glossary Freedom of speech statement Statement on Modern Slavery Data privacy / GDPR Sport at Oxford Conferences at Oxford 牛津大学 Information For Prospective undergraduates Prospective graduate students Prospective Continuing Education students Prospective online/distance learning students Current Oxford students Current Oxford staff Oxford residents/Community Visitors/Tourists Media Alumni Teachers Parliamentarians Businesses/Partnerships Quick Links Contact search Jobs and vacancies Term dates Map Nexus365 email Giving to Oxford Oxford University Images © University of Oxford 2019 Contact us About this site Legal Privacy policy Cookie statement Accessibility Statement


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