Showing posts with label mucus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mucus. Show all posts

DNA From Mucus Shows the Sex of Whales

Genetics: Scientists work on whales instead of cattle.
Work on cattle genetics has shown the way to determine the sex of whales using a sample taken from blow holes. Specimens are composed of water and mucous membrane material.  They are collected from the sea by people in dingies, canoes and kayaks. The process involves scooping with a six-metre long carbon-fibre pole.
Getting samples of whale mucus
A team of researchers has enjoyed the chance to get away from working with cattle. They have also done a genetic study of koalas. Improving cattle and meat are their priorities, however.  A few hundred samples are to be taken.  This compares to a half a million already collected from cattle.

While blow hole samples are used for whales, hair is taken from cattle. Researchers have identified favourable traits for cattle from DNA. The real problem is getting these into cattle. Farmers are the ones who breed animals, not researchers. It is no surprise to find the more direct work on whales a welcome change.
 Genetics by Ty Buchanan 
 Australian Blog
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