Monday, July 27, 2020

A Bull Calf Designed to Produce More Male Offspring

Cosmo. (Alison Van Eenennaam/UC Davis)

A Bull Calf Designed to Produce More Male Offspring 

A group of researchers at the University of California, Davis, have been working on designing a bull calf that will produce more offspring. After almost 4 years of working on this project, the scientists have successfully produced a bull calf, Cosmo, who was genome edited as an embryo so that he can produce more male offspring. They were able to accomplish this by using a technology called CRISPR. With this technology, scientists are able to make cuts to the genome and add in useful genes. The scientists added a gene called SRY which is responsible for initiating male development. So even if the offspring don't have the Y chromosome, they can still grow and look like males if they inherit the SRY gene.

The main reason why scientists and researchers wanted to do this was because male cattle produce more meat. So they would have less cattle and still produce the same amount of meat as before. Researchers believe Cosmo will reach sexual maturity within the next year so they will really be able to tell whether or not the addition of the SRY gene was efficient and effective. It will be very interesting to read updates on Cosmo and the offspring that is produced.

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