Better, Better for you? Should the age-old practice of cross-breeding
be put out to pasture? Explore more about ways genetic engineering
can be used to make the most of livestock.
the best of the best has always been the goal for farmers. The best
milk producers, the porkiest pigs, the meatiest cows. Farmers rely
on cross-breeding to achieve those goals. Cross-breeding is a way
to bring together, and pass along, the most desirable genes and
traits. It's a mainstay technique of traditional biotechnology.
a modern form of biotechnology, creates a whole new way to ensure
the best genes are "passed" along. Through techniques
like and , the genetic makeup of livestock
can be copied or even changed.
is not a common practice yet because it costs so much. But some
see it as a way to create elite lines of premium livestock. Dairy
farmers could have herds of cattle cloned from the very best milk
producers. Sheep producers could clone flocks from the wooliest
animals. Hog producers could clone their prime pork.
most cloning is done by the technique used to produce Dolly, the
first cloned sheep. As technologies improve, techniques could change,
bringing down costs.
DNA is another genetic engineering technique used with livestock.
This technique aims to introduce new traits, or to enhance existing
ones. Cows could get genes that make their milk more nutritious.
Fish could get new genes that make them grow larger faster. Goats
have been engineered to produce spider silk in their milk.
a growing area of experimentation that shows real promise. Pharming
is genetically engineering livestock to produce medical products.
There are many success stories already. Sheep, for instance, are
used to produce a human blood clotting protein. Hundreds of experiments
are underway, looking for ways to utilize this technique.
For more information
on Pharming look at the article on medicine in the Uses section.
the Mammal that Made History
the sheep was the first successfully cloned mammal in history. More
Silk in the Milk
is thinner than a strand of hair, yet stronger than than a strand
of steel? You might be surprised by the answer. More
Market to Market Links
Glut Hits U.S. and GMOs Get Nod in EU
Ample supplies against a relatively constant demand have been the
biggest factors in a listless market.