Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Crime Scene Investigates: The Case of the Dead Cow

06.04.2006
Forensic fingerprinting of plant DNA is being investigated as a way to identify offending poisonous plants – a major cause of death in livestock in countries such as Ghana.

Dr Domozoro will describe how he uses plant DNA from the animal’s stomach for forensic fingerprinting on Thursday 6th April at the Society for Experimental Biology’s Annual Main Meeting, Canterbury [session P6]. “Knowing the offending plants will help us to manage the poisoning outbreak by targeting specific treatment routines or withdrawing livestock from infested pastures”, says Domozoro.


A typical Ghanaian peasant livestock farmer providing information on Cleome viscosa in his left hand, known to be poisonous to livestock and Cleome gynandra in his right hand, which is not poisonous but used as a vegetable among the indigenous people, supplied by Charles Domorozo

Since the identifying features of plants are rapidly digested in the stomach of herbivores it is often difficult to tell if and how an animal has been poisoned. Such misdiagnoses are costly to the agricultural industry and also mean that statistics on how widespread is poisoning are inaccurate. The practical application of this technique means that when a cow or sheep dies, if a sample of the rumen contents is taken within a day, it can be stored or used immediately to determine if plant poisoning was the cause of death.

Domozoro uses plant material, extracted from Ghanaian animals within 24 hours of death, as the template to amplify specific DNA sequences to give a plant-fingerprint: this is specific to the species of plant present in the animal’s rumen. Domozoro has affiliations with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Ghana and so the first database he has used to search for a match consists of the known DNA sequences of ~40 poisonous Ghanaian plant species. This only represents a fraction of the known poisonous plants in Ghana and there is a need to keep expanding the database. The technique could be used to identify poisonous plants from any country as long as their DNA sequence is known: “The procedure can be applied anywhere, but the reference database will need to be carefully selected to include the geographical range”, explains Domozoro.

Lucy Moore | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sebiology.org.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>