Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

More Boy Calves

A bull calf with an edited genome so that he'll produce more male offspring was born in April, possibly heralding a way of producing beef that is friendlier to the environment, Grist reports.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, previously bred dairy cattle that are hornless using genes from naturally hornless cattle, so as to avoid having to remove their horns to protect farm workers. The same team, led by Davis's Alison Van Eenennaam, was also working on developing cattle that are more likely to produce male offspring by inserting the SRY gene into the X chromosome. Male cattle grow bigger and faster, and would make the ranching industry more efficient, they said.

Van Eenennaam and her colleagues announced the birth of Cosmo, a gene-edited calf, at the American Society of Animal Science meeting yesterday. Cosmo, Van Eenennaam tells Grist, is a "really cute calf."

"We anticipate Cosmo's offspring that inherit this SRY gene will grow and look like males, regardless of whether they inherit a Y chromosome," she adds in a statement.

Grist notes, though, Van Eenennaam and her colleagues analyzed Cosmo's blood to find that they, rather than inserting one SRY copy into his genome, inserted seven. However, they don't anticipate Cosmo will have any problems because of that, but are looking at how to avoid the issue, it adds.

The Scan

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.

Topical Compound to Block EGFR Inhibitors May Ease Skin Toxicities, Study Finds

A topical treatment described in Science Translational Medicine may limit skin toxicities seen with EGFR inhibitor therapy.

Dozen Genetic Loci Linked to Preeclampsia Risk in New GWAS

An analysis of genome-wide association study data in JAMA Cardiology finds genetic loci linked to preeclampsia that have ties to blood pressure.

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.