How biotechnology could combat the rhino poaching crisis

It is reported that 1 215 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2014; that is approximately one rhino every eight hours. The latest developments in biotechnology have the potential to save the rhino and other wildlife products currently being poached into extinction.

Matthew Markus, CEO of San Francisco based biotech company, Pembient spoke to us about this advancement. According to Markus, he had the idea of cruelty free rhino horn for 20 years.

When I was in college, I was reading about the poaching crisis at the time and studying pure science. I thought of how great it would be to copy physical objects like the rhino horn; that way there would be no need to harm the animal. That was a naïve dream. But fast forward to 2015 and the technology is available to see the idea through.

Markus says that many users of rhino horn powder have consumed their synthetic product without realising the difference between the natural wild life product. He says feedback suggests that they manage to capture the essence of the animal in their process.

Changing the conversation around rhino horn usage

Markus says that his organisation does not find it useful when other wildlife advocacy groups deny the medicinal value perceived by some users of rhino horn powder. He says, rather than deny that the demand exists, there is an opportunity to commit themselves to minimising the demand by creating the lab grown products. He advised that, in some instances, wild life products on the black market are not safe for use. He says that the biotechnology-based product is a pure substance, with high quality , unadulterated by any other elements.

Listen to the full conversation on the Weekend Breakfast Show:


Read More
Capetonian bodybuilder placed 6th in the INBA competition

Capetonian bodybuilder placed 6th in the INBA competition

Award-winning bodybuilder, Jason Kleinsmith chats about being ranked among the top bodybuilders in the world.

Financially prepare yourself before the wedding bells

Financially prepare yourself before the wedding bells

Liberty Legal Marketing Specialist, Faeeza Khan talk us through a few financial pointers before getting hitched.

Should SA sell its huge rhino horn stockpile?

Should SA sell its huge rhino horn stockpile?

The environment minister has announced that the decision to sell a massive rhino horn stockpile will be based on a committee's findings.

Rough Rhino rescues stranded baby zebra

Rough Rhino rescues stranded baby zebra

Willdlife photographer, Roel van Muiden snapped a unique moment on a game drive at the Madikwe Game Reserve.

A record number of Rhinos were poached in 2014

A record number of Rhinos were poached in 2014

Minister Edna Molewa says they are not underestimating the scale of the problem, but arrests are not a deterrent currently.

More rhinos poached in 2014 than ever before

More rhinos poached in 2014 than ever before

Despite more arrests, brand new statistics show the number of rhinos poached continues to rise.

Popular articles
So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

Wits associate professor of economics Christopher Malikane speaks to Azania Mosaka about the term that is being bandied about.

Shop 'til you drop: The top 'Black Friday' deals this week

Shop 'til you drop: The top 'Black Friday' deals this week

Start your Christmas shopping off with a bang at these major retailers offering some impressive discounted sales for Black Friday.

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

This week Xolani Gwala's speaks to former Generations actor Pamela Nomvete for #WhatInTheWorldHappenedTo feature.

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

In 2001 Naspers invested $32 million in (then tiny) Tencent. Learn more about the wildly profitable Chinese behemoth...

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?