Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Cloned calves create ultimate steak

Scientists confirmed this week that research involving cloned cattle shows it's possible to get higher value meat without wasteful trim fat. Their findings are through the offspring of cloned cows. “These are not cloned animals--these are products of cloned animals,” says Dean Hawkins, Dean of Agriculture and Natural Sciences at West Texas A&M University. The calves are the first born to two cloned animals and are the product of research at West Texas A&M University’s ranch just south of Amarillo. The project started in 2012 by cloning their first bull named Alpha. “We took a carcass off the line, and it was a prime yield grade 1 carcass," explains Canterbury. " We took a tissue cell from that carcass--from the muscle--and we cloned that animal on the prime yield grade 1 trait,” explains Canterbury." From there, they had three heifers from that same DNA line, which is a group that they call Gamma. The calves are a product of both Delta and Gamma. Seven of their offspring were harvested last month. After a third-party USDA evaluation, one achieved the prime grade, which is something that fewer than 5% of carcasses qualify for industry wide. Three graded High Choice, and three Average Choice. “We're selecting for a genotypic trait, instead of a phenotypic trait like a lot of cloning projects have done,” says Landon Canterbury, manager of West Texas A&M University's ranch. That means the researchers want the animals for the quality of their meat, instead of certain genetic traits...more

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