By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com
Published: 18:26 BST, 6 October 2020 | Updated: 18:31 BST, 6 October 2020
Scientists are genetically modifying dairy cows in a bid to save them from climate change.
A team from New Zealand is using CRISPR genome editing to create cows with gray patches instead of black, which would decrease the amount of heat the animal absorbs while in pasture.
The gene mutation was conducted in fetal skin cells from a male Holstein Friesian, a dairy cow, which was being grown in a petri dish.
Researchers successfully eliminated the pre-melanosomal protein 17 gene, which causes the black coloring, and produced in ‘a strong color dilution effect’ of a gray and white coat.
A team from New Zealand is using CRISPR genome editing to create cows with gray patches instead of black, which would decrease the amount of heat the animal absorbs while in pasture
‘Compared to a light coat color, black absorbs more solar radiation translating into radiative heat gain which is a contributing factor to heat stress in cattle, negatively impacting on their production levels, fertility and welfare,’ reads the study published in biorxiv.
‘To better adapt dairy cattle to the rapidly changing climatic conditions with predictions for more frequent and prolonged hot temperature patterns, we aimed to lighten their coat color by genome editing.’
Heat stress among dairy cows is, according to experts, is one of the