Sequencing the bovine genome is now complete, paving the way for research into more sustainable food production, taking into account the needs of an increasing world population.
The genome provides a major novel resource to study not only mammalian evolution but also cattle-specific biology, reported an international consortium of researchers in the April 23 issue of the journal Science. A companion study on the genetic bases of mammalian milk is published in parallel.
The large-scale undertaking mobilized more than 300 scientists from 25 countries over six years. The findings of this study provide the means to select animals with a smaller environmental footprint, particularly animals with less greenhouse gas emissions.
"The bovine genome is more similar to that of humans than mice or rats at all levels, from genomic DNA rearrangements, to shared genes and identity of their protein sequences" said Evgeny Zdobnov, one of the lead analysts from the project and a researcher at the University of Geneva and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.
He explains that "the finding that about 75% of human genes are well conserved across mammals is striking. The bovine genome gives us further insight into human biology, allowing us to highlight the loss or gain of certain gene families in hominoids.
For example, humans have lost a large number of genes which encode the receptors that recognize molecules surrounding a cell and activate the necessary answers."
The research conducted by the teams of Professor Alexandre Reymond at UNIL and Professors Stylianos E. Antonarakis and Evgeny Zdobnov at UNIGE, has determined that the cow genome is made up of at least 22'000 protein-coding genes and 500 miRNAs, a class of genes that regulates the production of most of these proteins.
The majority of the genes in the former group can encode several different proteins through a mechanism called alternative splicing. "The sequencing of the cow genome allowed us to determine that this diversification mechanism is more evolutionary conserved than previously thought", says Alexandre Reymond, the leader of the analysis.
It appears that chromosomal rearrangements are essential for the acquisition of differences between mammals. In cattle biology, they have an influence on the genes involved in the processes of immunity, lactation, digestion and metabolism. These changes could help explain the amazing ability of cattle to efficiently convert low-quality forage into energy-dense meat and milk, processes long exploited by man.
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences