Skip to content

First animal discovered with sex-reversed genitalia

40597d45b5ed226c458abc9bb3107a0fThe only known animals in which the female has a penis and the male has a vagina have been discovered. Kazunori Yoshizawa from Hokkaido University in Japan, Rodrigo Ferreira from the Federal University of Lavras in Brazil, and Charles Lienhard in Geneva are responsible for the discovery. The research was published in the April 17, 2014, edition of the journal Current Biology.

Four distinct but related species of cave-dwelling insects (Neotrogla) were discovered in caves in Brazil. The female Neotrogla bear the young but the males have a small vagina while the females have an elaborate penile structure. Read more

Using genomic tools gives cattlemen early selection benefits

Martha Blum, Field Editor

14724OTTAWA, Ill. — The goal is to rank animals based on their genetic merit as accurately and as early in the animal’s life as possible.

“That’s where we can really take advantage of genomics in the cattle industry,” said Rod Shoenbine, cattle genetics specialist for Zoetis HD50K.

“As we look at genetics, we have to remember there are two things that go into the equation — genetics and environment,” said Shoenbine during a presentation at the Beef Sire Selection & Management Seminar. “Those are the two things that create the phenotype of the animal.” Read more

Overview of the Animal Food Regulatory Program-Webinar

ASAS_grey_logoJoin us for a Webinar on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Space is limited.

Register Now

Dr. Padmakumar B. Pillai will discuss how animal food is regulated in the United States, addressing the different regulatory processes available to stakeholders.  Dr. Pillai will also discuss the types of data and information typically used to address the regulatory status of animal foods.

Title: Overview of the Animal Food Regulatory Program

Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

ASAS is pleased to announce involvement of USAID at JAM 2014

JAM_Logo_box_SmallUSAID has worked with ASAS to offer the following workshop/symposium on Thursday July 24, 2014 at the Joint Annual Meeting (JAM):

Crafting USAID’s livestock research agenda – animal science priorities under Feed the Future, July 24, 2014

 Reducing global poverty and hunger and improving nutrition are core objectives of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.  Harnessing agricultural science and technology is critical to meeting the challenge of increasing production of more nutritious food with fewer natural resources, while adapting to climate change.  The Feed the Future Research Strategy supports targeted research on sustainable intensification of plant and animal production systems and on increasing the availability of and access to nutritious foods.  Livestock – including goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, poultry and fish – are central to this effort and contribute to smallholder incomes and household nutrition.  This symposium will explore animal science research priorities to strengthen livestock value chains in developing countries and will inform future USAID livestock research investments.  Read more

Some cows’ infertility linked to Y Chromosome

k5643-17i

ARS scientists have found that one reason why some beef cows may not be getting pregnant is they have fragments of male Y chromosome in their DNA. Click the image for more information about it.

One reason why some cows cannot get pregnant may be because they have male (Y) chromosome fragments in their DNA, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study.

Reproductive efficiency is the most economically important trait in cow-calf production. When a cow does not produce a calf, the producer does not make a profit, but still has to pay for feed, labor and other expenses.

With the help of beef producers, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) geneticist Tara McDaneld and her colleagues at the agency’s Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Neb., examined reproduction data on about 6,400 females from cattle herds in Colorado, Florida, Nebraska and at USMARC. The team, which included molecular biologist John Keele and geneticist Larry Kuehn, then genotyped the animals, using a cost-saving genetic screening method called DNA pooling, which combines DNA from individual animals into a single pool. Read more

Recent Articles

17
Apr

Agriculture at top of global agenda

Robynne Anderson, Secretariat to the International Agri-Food Network

At some moments in the discussion of the next set of global development goals, the conversations have seemed at risk of leaving out the most basic human needs. However, it seems clear now that agriculture and food will make the top of the list for the United Nations.

The co-chairs of the United Nations discussion of Sustainable Development Goals, have listed poverty eradication number one and sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition clustered right behind it as focus area number two. These discussions should shape global development work until 2030 as the replacement for the current Millennium Development Goals. Read more »

17
Apr
ASAS Anmals small

New program director at ASAS

Justin_photoWe would like to welcome Justin Bartlett to ASAS as our newest Program Director. Justin joins us from the National Council of Teachers of English, where he worked as a membership and customer service director.

As a Program Director for ASAS, Justin’s responsibilities will include membership retention and recruitment, meeting logistics, and serving the ASAS membership in many other capacities. We hope that you will help us welcome Justin to the ASAS staff. We are certainly glad to have him on board.

Justin is located in our headquarters office in Champaign, IL. He can be reached via email at justinb@asas.org or by phone at 217-356-9050, ext. 121.

17
Apr
2014 JAM

Message about JAM 2014 from the ASAS Office

Prepping for a JAM Meeting, any annual meeting, takes the membership, volunteers, leadership and the staff about 18 months, even longer if you count site selection. When we first start working on a meeting, it seems so far away. Now with just a little over 3 months until JAM 2014, things in the office kick into high gear.

There is a special buzz this year in office for JAM 2014 – we have really worked hard to make it better than ever. First and foremost is the science – I have personally attended either the individual society meetings (ASAS, ADSA, and PSA) or the JAM since 1995 and I have been involved in planning JAM since 2006, and I can say bar none – this is our best scientific program to date. We had an amazing membership and committee response to the call for symposia and the combination of veteran overall programming committee members Dean Hawkins and Geoff Dahl and new members Connie Larson and Barry Bradford – the JAM program has been elevated to the next level!

Add to this great response, direction added by working within a theme: Linking animal science and animal agriculture: Meeting the global demands of 2050, we have managed to pull together a JAM with enough variation to appeal to all the subsets of animal science but enough cohesion to draw our fields of study together! Read more »

17
Apr
ASAS_election_banner_TS

Tomorrow is the deadline to vote

Tomorrow is the deadline to vote in the ASAS National Election.

Voting must be completed by April 18, 2014 by 11:59 PM CST.

As a member of the American Society of Animal Science, you have the opportunity to VOTE for President-Elect and three Directors-at-Large to serve on the Board of Directors of ASAS. The term of office for each will be three years. You also have the opportunity to VOTE for a Graduate Director to serve on the ASAS Board for a two-year term. Terms for these offices will begin at the conclusion of the 2014 JAM in Kansas City, July 20-24. Read more »

17
Apr

Understanding Beef Cattle Lameness Takes Knowing Where to Look

Beef cattle are naturally adept at hiding signs of weakness, which makes signs of lameness difficult to quickly diagnose.

Beef cattle are naturally adept at hiding signs of weakness, which makes signs of lameness difficult to quickly diagnose.

Eden Prairie, Minn. (April 15, 2014) – Beef cattle are naturally adept at hiding signs of weakness, and as a result, lameness prevalence in beef cattle is often underestimated.

“We see people that come out and say, ‘We don’t have issues with lameness.’ But generally speaking if you say that, you’re not looking,” said Dan Thomson, DVM, and Director of the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University. “The experiences from veterinary school and veterinary practice prove that you miss more by not looking than by not knowing.”

Thomson said that it takes getting out with the crews and spending the time to watch the animals to see what’s really going on. Read more »