Novel imaging method to assess bone strength in hens

Photo by Rachel Vine on Pexels.com Laying hens are at risk of bone fractures due to biological changes linked with egg production. A novel method developed by The Roslin Institute in the U.K. enables poultry breeders to consider bone density in laying hen selection, which would allow greater bird health and welfare. Strong bones offer … Continue reading Novel imaging method to assess bone strength in hens

Blue catfish genome mapped

Auburn University postdoctoral student Baofeng Su is part of an Auburn research team that recently became the first to map a high-quality genome assembly of the blue catfish. Photo: Auburn University. Catfish farming is the largest aquaculture industry in the U.S., accounting for approximately 70% of the nation’s total aquaculture output, according to Auburn University … Continue reading Blue catfish genome mapped

Virus-resistant poultry research gains traction

Photo by Rachel Vine on Pexels.com Past research studies have explored the potential for using animal genetics to develop livestock and poultry that are naturally resistant to disease. A new study from the Roslin Institute in the U.K. suggests specific genetic variations that determine birds' responses to infection. The Roslin researchers analyzed DNA from chickens … Continue reading Virus-resistant poultry research gains traction

Barnyard Roundup: Cattle vaccine efficacy and swine air quality

Photo by ArtHouse Studio on Pexels.com Vaccines are critical tools in disease prevention but some vaccines may work better in certain individuals than they might in others. A new large-scale immunogenetics study sought to determine the potential genetic underpinnings of vaccine response in cows, which may have implications beyond cattle. A research team led by … Continue reading Barnyard Roundup: Cattle vaccine efficacy and swine air quality

Barnyard Roundup: Genomic tools, dairy diseases & residues in manure

Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com Livestock producers are increasingly using genomic analysis to guide animal breeding breeding decisions, with a growing number of desired traits — such as herd health and producer profitability — being incorporated into breeding programs. However, the sheep sector faces considerable gaps in genetic data collection, according to University of … Continue reading Barnyard Roundup: Genomic tools, dairy diseases & residues in manure

Better understanding cellular immunology improves infection response

Immune cells showing associated molecules in white and red. Novel approaches to identifying key molecules associated with immunity have enabled researchers to identify a chicken immune cell with a critical role in mediating fighting infection. The findings from a new study led by researchers at The Roslin Institute in the U.K. and believed to be … Continue reading Better understanding cellular immunology improves infection response

Barnyard Roundup: Pig DNA, antimicrobial data & fish research

Photo by Mark Stebnicki on Pexels.com Genomic advances are offering greater insights into the biology of farm animals and providing new tools to help advance production practices. For example, researchers from the Roslin Institute in Scotland and the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics & Health sought to find and examine regions of DNA that regulate … Continue reading Barnyard Roundup: Pig DNA, antimicrobial data & fish research

Got HiFi? New algorithms identify ‘invisible’ microbes

Photo by Jos van Ouwerkerk on Pexels.com Studying microbial communities has delivered tremendous insights into disease and good health, but identifying all the distinct species in a sample can be challenging. Now, a study by an international research team has shown that highly accurate, long-read genomic sequencing technology (HiFi) can shine a light on this … Continue reading Got HiFi? New algorithms identify ‘invisible’ microbes

Barnyard Roundup: Beef methane and equine laminitis

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com New research from Ireland makes the case that breeding for low-methane-emitting beef cattle is possible, with some cattle producing up to 30% less methane, on average, at the same level of productivity. The novel research was led by Ireland's agri-food research authority Teagasc, in collaboration with colleagues at University College … Continue reading Barnyard Roundup: Beef methane and equine laminitis

Got slick? Genetic tool could improve heat tolerance in cattle

The cow on the left is less hairy because it contains the slick gene. Credit: Littlejohn et al, Nat Commun 5, 5861 (2014). Heat stress impairs animal performance and health, leading to annual losses of $1.2 billion for the dairy, beef and swine industries just in the U.S. Globally, losses related to heat stress in … Continue reading Got slick? Genetic tool could improve heat tolerance in cattle