Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Cattle like Us

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Cattle like Us

Article excerpt

The landmark sequencing of the domestic cattle genome, reported in the journal Science, could lead to important new findings about health and nutrition, a participating Michigan State University researcher says. Theresa Casey, a research assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, joined 300 colleagues around the world in a 6-year project to complete, annotate, and analyze the bovine genome sequence.

The species Bos taurus includes 22,000 genes, 80% of which are shared with humans. Humans, researchers conclude, are closer to the bovine sequence than to those of mice or rats, which are far more commonly used as research subjects. That realization could open new vistas for human health research.

The new data are especially important given the economic and nutritional importance of cattle to humans, says Casey, whose specialty is study of lactation and mammary gland biology. Focusing on genes that regulate milk synthesis in the cow, she also coauthored a companion report that appears in the journal Genome Biology and discusses how the bovine lactation genome sheds light on the evolution of mammalian milk. …

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