A team of researchers from Michigan State University led by George Smith, associate professor of animal science, has discovered that the new egg-specific gene, JY-1, is necessary for embryonic development in dairy cows. The research is reported in the Oct. 29 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Besides potentially offering the dairy industry more solutions for the infertility problem that costs it more than $1 billion per year, the new gene provides clues into the egg's role in embryo development and may ultimately provide new options for the more than 9.3 million women treated annually for fertility problems.
According to Smith, cows are a better model for human fertility research than the standard mouse model. Like women, cows usually release a single egg and give birth to one offspring at a time. Mice, in contrast, release multiple eggs and give birth to litters of pups.
"Our research focus is infertility in dairy cows," said Smith. "We want to understand the role of egg quality in infertility and create new solutions for dairy producers to manage their biggest problem. But there could certainly be human implications."
Smith and his team, which includes former students Anilkumar Bettegowda, a PhD student in Smith’s lab, and Jianbo Yao, a fellow in the MSU Center for Animal Functional Genomics, know the bovine chromosome where the JY-1 gene is located. A similar gene is located on the matching chromosome in humans but does not appear to be functional.
"There may be other related genes in humans that perform the same function as JY-1," Smith said. "We know this gene is necessary for cow embryos to develop, so it makes sense that humans have a related gene with a similar function."
Infertility and other reproductive problems are one of the dairy industry's biggest concerns. Dairy cows must become pregnant to produce milk. So if a cow can't get pregnant or can't maintain a pregnancy, the farmer suffers not only the loss of the milk, but the loss of the animal and the cost of replacing her.
"We now know the JY-1 gene is required for embryo development in dairy cows," Smith said. "Our next steps are to determine how the gene is regulated and how different levels of the protein affect fertility. There are still a lot of unknowns, but this is the first piece of the puzzle."
George Smith | EurekAlert!
During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens
14.08.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments
14.08.2018 | Brown University
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...
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....
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...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
14.08.2018 | Information Technology
14.08.2018 | Life Sciences
14.08.2018 | Life Sciences