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Aggie researches working to prevent cattle miscarriages

Burger King selling burgers from cows on low-methane diet
Posted at 3:04 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 16:04:41-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M AgriLife researchers are putting cows under the microscope in hopes of a genetic solution to cattle pregnancy loss.

Every year, the beef industry loses billions of dollars as a result of reproductive inefficiency costs - such as embryonic mortality and calf pregnancy losses.

Now, experts from Texas A&M are utilizing "Crispr" technology to see if pregnancy loss is caused by genetics and, if so, potentially remove the problem gene.

"What we do is remove that gene with Crispr/cas9, which is sort of like a pair of scissors, it just goes in and snips out that part of the gene out," said Ky Pohler, associate professor at Texas A&M's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "We observe whether or not the embryo is successful or not after that."

If genetics is the cause of pregnancy loss, Pohler hopes that this research can lead to new genetics testing to detect cattle health issues ahead of time.

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