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New tools equal new opportunities for the swine industry

New genomic tools, including a draft sequence of the pig genome and high density SNP chips, allow swine researchers opportunities to better understand the biology of the pig and limiting production traits.

Dr. Max Rothschild of Iowa State University explored applications of SNP technologies during a presentation at the 10th World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production.

Potential applications of the new technology include: Read more


On the road to recovery

The decrease in dairy cow fertility which began in the 1980s now appears to be on the mend.

In a presentation given during the 10th World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Dr. Jennie Pryce of La Trobe University spoke about the latest phenotypic and genetic trends related to female fertility in international Holstein populations. 

The improvements are slight, with some fertility characteristics (such as calving interval) merely plateauing instead of improving. Read about the latest fertility trends in the proceedings paper titled “World Trends in Dairy Cow Fertility.”


Genomics gets fishy

Breakthroughs in the Atlantic salmon genome project, initiated in 2010, now allows Atlantic salmon researchers access to technology comparable to the technological advancements of the major livestock species.

During the 10th World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Dr. Thomas Moen of AquaGen gave a presentation on Tuesday describing the new technologies available, including:

  • a high-quality genome reference
  • a SNP-chip containing more than 657k polymorphic SNPs
  • A SNP-chip containing 132k polymorphic SNP and a linkage map

Details about the new genomic technology emerging from the Atlantic salmon genome project and related studies can be found in the proceeding paper titled “Genomics in Selective Breeding of Atlantic Salmon.”


The big questions: Possible limitations of genomic information

During the 10th World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Dr. Brian Kinghorn of  the University of New England gave a presentation on Monday about the potential impact genomic information could have on genetic change.

The presentation addressed 4 major questions about what genomic information can reveal. Read more

Recent Articles


ASAS partners with EAAP

By Meghan Wulster-Radcliffe, ASAS Chief Executive Officer

Logo_EAAP copyASAS has had a strong presence at the 2014 European Association of Animal Science (EAAP) Annual Meeting, taking place this week in Copenhagen, Denmark.  We had 14 sponsored ASAS attendees. Our members served as plenary and session speakers, presented posters, worked on EAAP committees, and worked with the EAAP and WAAP boards to enhance our partnerships. Read more »


Summary of EAAP business meeting

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New embryonic and fetal development photos in the Image Gallery

Image #2111

Image #2111

Written by: Harold Hafs

Looking for images showing embryonic and fetal development? Then check out the Animal Science Image Gallery ZIP file image folder #3549 which contains 10 examples of the remarkable photography of Dr. T. Y. Tanabe, mostly at Pennsylvania State University. Over 60 of his images can be found in the Image Gallery. Read more »


WCGALP 2014 Virtual Meeting now available

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Public comments to FAA needed to maintain research with drones

By Deb Hamernik and Penny Riggs, ASAS Public Policy Committee

DroneUnmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as drones or “unmanned aerial vehicles” (UAV) have received much publicity in recent years and have even been called by some as “the next big thing for agriculture.” Advocates suggest that as farms get larger in size and have fewer employees, UAS may be useful to scan large pastures for sick or injured cattle, or survey fields for plant health or soil and water conditions. UAS may also be used to ward off birds from crops, pollinate trees, monitor the snow pack, or forecast water supplies. More and better information may allow farmers and ranchers to make better management decisions and enhance the efficiency of food production. In practice, UAS have not yet been proven as cost effective alternatives to existing agricultural practices, but interest in testing the potential application of UAS on the farm remains high across the country. Read more »