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The Really Holy Cow

Posted by msrb on June 23, 2009

Canadians breeding cows that burp less

Perhaps they’d now focus on breeding kids that eat less meat … for a win-win formula!

A Canadian cow is pictured in a field near Teulon, Manitoba in this July 28, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Shaun Best. Image may be subject to copyright.

Stephen Moore, a professor professor of agricultural, food and nutritional science at the University of Alberta, is reportedly researching the genes responsible for methane produced by cows with a view to breed “more efficient, environmentally friendly cows.”

“We are working on producing diagnostic markers for efficient animals. We are looking at the next generation of technologies that will enable us to determine the genetics of an animal through a blood test or testing some hairs that you might pluck from the animal,” said Moore.

“To shrink cattle’s ecological footprint ranchers could also decrease the time cows are left standing in the field by getting animals to market sooner. That means breeding cattle that grow faster. Also, through breeding, cattle could become more efficient in converting feed into muscle and producing less methane and waste,” Reuters reported Moore as saying. [Souped up super booster prions anyone?]

Will the Canadian scientists now focus on breeding children that eat fewer cows, burn less fuels and export less oil, to boost their scientific contribution?

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