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Genetically-modified cows without horns are created to make the countryside safer

Published: February 22, 2017
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Source: Daily Mail

 

Genetically-modified cows are being bred without horns to make the countryside safer.

Scientists have created the cows to protect farmers, walkers and other animals.

The new cows have soft hair where their horns should be, which farmers often cut or burn to dull down for safety.

Thanks to gene editing, this calf pictured with animal geneticist Dr Alison Van Eenennaam will not grow horns and will not have to go through the de-horning process. Scientists are proposing the new method as a way of making the countryside safer

'De-horning' cows can be achieved genetically because of a revolutionary gene editing technique that allows the precise selection and insertion of DNA using CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

CRISPR has transformed genetic engineering since it was first demonstrated in 2012.

The system allows the 'cut and paste' manipulation of strands of DNA with a precision not seen before.

Using this technique, the California scientists cut and pasted non-horned cow DNA into horned cow DNA to create hornless cows.

Two hornless calves were born through IVF techniques, named Spotigy and Buri by the team.

Gene-editing was used by scientists as The University of California, Davis, to remove the DNA responsible for horn growth in black-and-white Holsteins, a popular breed of cow.

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