Press Releases and Interpretive Summaries
Symposium summary: Immune system affects reproduction in ruminants
May 14, 2013 - A closer look at livestock reveals how the immune system and reproductive system interact. In a new paper published in the Journal of Animal Science, researchers show how immune cells can affect animal ovulation and pregnancy.
Chickens with bigger gizzards are more efficient
April 10, 2013 - According to animal scientists, farmers could further protect the environment by breeding chickens with larger digestive organs. This research, published in the February issue of the Journal of Animal Science, could solve a major problem in poultry production.
Pigs make the most of your leftovers
April 5, 2013 - As the world population grows, farmers may feed more people by giving biofuel and food co-products to pigs. These co-products include whey, bakery waste, and plant matter left over from biofuel production.
In a new paper for Animal Frontiers, researchers say pigs are ideally suited to convert these non human-edible feedstuffs into protein.
Symposium highlights epigenetic effects of milk
April 5, 2013 - Learning how milk affects offspring was the subject of the Lactation Biology Symposium, held as part of the 2012 Joint Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. The presentations were summarized in a recent paper in the Journal of Animal Science.
From Animal Frontiers: Know your biofuel
April 3, 2013 - In the latest issue of Animal Frontiers, two chemists share the pros and cons of the different biofuels. In their paper, Roland Arthur Lee and Jean-Michael Lavoie explain that biofuels range from first-generation fuels, like ethanol made from corn, to third-generation fuels, like alkane made from algae.
Symposium summary: Genetics research can improve farm animal health
March 27, 2013 - The genome seems to be more complicated than scientists originally thought. Researchers are finding that many traits are affected by multiple, elusive genes. The interactions between genes and the body was the focus of the Breeding and Genetics Symposium at the 2012 Joint Annual Meeting.
Highlights from the National Beef Tenderness Survey
March 26, 2013 - Whether you buy your steak from a grocer in New York or a restaurant in Las Vegas, chances are the meat is more palatable than it would have been 10 years ago. That’s one of the findings in the recently released National Beef Tenderness Survey. For the survey, published February in the Journal of Animal Science, researchers collected data on the tenderness, flavor and juiciness of beef cuts sold across the United States.
Scientists improve transgenic “Enviropigs”
March 6, 2013 - A research team at the University of Guelph has developed a new line of transgenic “Enviropigs.” The new line of pigs is called the Cassie line, and it is known for passing genes on more reliably. The results of this project were published ahead of print in the Journal of Animal Science.
Dr. Gregory Lewis named next editor-in-chief of Journal of Animal Science
March 4, 2013 - Gregory Lewis, PhD, has been selected as the next editor-in-chief of the Journal of Animal Science. Lewis, a research leader for the USDA Agricultural Research Service, will begin his term this July.
JAM symposium reveals range of uses for stem cells
March 1, 2013 - Recent research shows the crucial role of stem cells in normal growth and development. Animal scientists have discovered that stem cells could heal injuries in livestock and increase animal productivity.
Symposium summary: Swine cells could power artificial liver
Feb. 27, 2013 - A line of swine stem cells called PICM-19 can differentiate into important liver cells. In a new paper for the Journal of Animal Science, researcher Neil Talbot explains how these cells could advance human medicine.
July meeting presents animal and dairy science
Feb. 26, 2013 - Registration is now open for the Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science. The meeting will take place in Indianapolis, IN from July 8 to 12, 2013.
Raw meat diet may not be enough for cats (or tigers)
Feb. 20, 2013 - In a new paper in the Journal of Animal Science, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium analyzed the value of raw meat diets for cats and exotic felids. The researchers say a raw meat diet is a good source of protein for cats, but pet owners may need to supplement with other nutrients.
In beef production, cow-calf phase contributes most greenhouse gases
Jan. 30, 2013 - In a new paper for the Journal of Animal Science, scientists estimate greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle during different stages of life. They show that beef production has a carbon footprint ranging from 10.7 to 22.6 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent per kg of hot carcass weight.
Ractopamine is safe for use in Brazilian pork
Jan. 24, 2013 - Animal scientists in Brazil have found that a small dose of the feed additive ractopamine can boost pork production without changing how pork looks or tastes.
Bacterial supplement could help young pigs fight disease
Jan. 22, 2013 - A common type of bacteria may help pigs stay healthy during weaning.
In a study of 36 weanling-age pigs, researchers found that a dose of lipid-producing Rhodococcus opacus bacteria increased circulating triglycerides. Triglycerides are a crucial source of energy for the immune system.
Livestock can put rangelands to good use
Jan. 9, 2013 - In a new paper for Animal Frontiers, Kratli et al. write that pastoral systems are often misunderstood.
From Animal Frontiers: Don't forget the fish
Jan. 7, 2013 - In the latest issue of Animal Frontiers, researcher James Muir explains that fish production will have to increase to meet global demand. He writes that fish are often overlooked as an important source of nutrients and protein.
Animals support families in developing countries
Jan. 2, 2013 - In a new paper for Animal Frontiers, researchers look beyond nutrition to see if raising livestock really does pay off in developing countries. They show that animal agriculture has direct and indirect effects on income, education and even gender equality.
Exercise affects reproductive ability in horses
Dec. 5, 2012 - In the latest issue of the Journal of Animal Science, researchers at Clemson University and the University of Florida examine the impact of exercise on mare reproductive health and embryo transfer.
Years of training produce traditional Jinhua ham
Nov. 2, 2012 - In the latest issue of Animal Frontiers, scientists explore the cultural background of Jinhua hams and the art of making the hams.
Stem cells could heal equine tendon injuries
Oct. 31, 2012 - Tendon injuries affect athletic horses at all levels. Researchers from the University of Connecticut are studying the use of stem cells in treating equine tendon injuries. Their findings were published Oct. 16 in the Journal of Animal Science Papers in Press.
Science and tradition make Hanwoo beef unique
Oct. 26, 2012 - Despite its high price, beef from Hanwoo cattle is very popular in Korea. Hanwoo beef is known for its marbled fat and characteristic flavor. Today, scientists are looking at the cattle traits that have made Hanwoo cattle a Korean tradition for more than 4,000 years.
Local wildlife is important in human diets
Oct. 23, 2012 - Animals like antelope, frogs and rodents may be tricky to catch, but they provide protein in places where traditional livestock are scarce. According to the authors of a new paper in Animal Frontiers, meat from wild animals is increasingly important in central Africa.
Brazil and U.S. come together to promote global animal science
Oct. 18, 2012 – Scientists from the Brazilian Society of Animal Science (SBZ) and the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) have officially agreed to share speakers and programming. This “memorandum of understanding” comes after years of informal speaker exchanges and collaboration between the two societies.
Dry-cured hams combine tradition and science
Oct. 10, 2012 - Dry-cured hams are a long-standing tradition in the southeastern United States. Many curing ham recipes are handed down through generations. By studying dry-curing techniques, meat scientists hope to bring dry-cured hams to a broader market.
American Society of Animal Science releases research priorities for the future of animal agriculture
Sept. 19, 2012 – The American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) addresses animal research and animal-based food challenges in new Grand Challenges documents. The ASAS Grand Challenges focus on five important issues in animal agriculture.
American Society of Animal Science releases ASAS summary of FAIR 2012
Sept. 17, 2012 – In preparation for Innovate 2012, the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) has released their summary of the 2012 Farm Animal Integrated Research (FAIR) symposia and report. FAIR 2012 was held in March of 2012, by the Federation of Animal Science Societies to establish priorities for animal agricultural research, education and extension activities.
Feeding microbials to chickens leads to mysterious immune response
Sept. 12, 2012 -- A paper recently published in the Journal of Animal Science helps researchers further understand how microbials and probiotics affect poultry health.
Chilling methods could change meat tenderness
Aug. 31, 2012 - In a recent paper published in the Journal of Animal Science, meat scientists report that a method called blast chilling could affect pork tenderness.
New fences can keep feed safe from deer
Aug. 10, 2012 - A new study in press for the Journal of Animal Science offers a solution to white-tailed deer nuisances for livestock producers. Scientists at the USDA/ APHIS/ Wildlife Services/ National Wildlife Research Center and University of Minnesota conducted an experiment in northwestern Minnesota that aimed to identify an effective way to decrease deer eating stored feed during winter months.
Today’s savvy grocery store shopper taking increased interest in how food is produced
Aug. 6, 2012 - Consumer preferences are becoming increasingly important and apparent in purchasing food decisions. In the latest edition of Animal Frontiers, researchers examined animal welfare around the world and how welfare practices affect choices at the grocery store.
Better resource management can help maintain animal welfare during epidemics
Aug. 1, 2012 - In a recent article for Animal Frontiers, Sebastian Heath of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) illustrates the complications found in maintaining animal welfare during a disease outbreak. There is a tendency toward treating a disease as a static entity, assessing it at the onset of the outbreak and working from there to stop its spread. Heath compares this approach to solving a puzzle.
Predicting milk yield in sows to meet nutrient requirements
July 27, 2012 - A study published in the July issue of the Journal of Animal Science aims to help pork producers determine nutrient requirements in sows during the lactation period. Researchers at the University of California, Davis compared data from multiple studies to see how factors like litter size and piglet weight gain affected milk production in sows.
New stats could help producers pick the best bulls for high altitudes
July 27, 2012 - In a recent paper for the Journal of Animal Science, researchers from the University of Georgia and the Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding in Magdalenka, Poland investigated the effect of altitude on Angus cattle performance.
Ammonia concentration poses health risk to sheep shipments
Every year, Australian sheep producers export millions of live sheep to markets in the Middle East. But sheep producers and the public are concerned that concentrations of ammonia on board ships may put sheep at increased risk of disease. Now findings published in the Journal of Animal Science by a team of Australian scientists may help improve sheep health and welfare during live shipments.
European settlement shifted methane emissions from wildlife to livestock
In our current industrialized culture, it can be difficult to imagine how different North America used to look. There are nearly 90 million beef and dairy cattle in the contiguous United States today, but that was not always the case. Before European colonization, many more elk, bison and deer dotted the landscape. And as they wandered the wilderness, these wild ruminants added to methane emissions.
Concentrations of glucose, lactate in blood could indicate piglet health
A study published in the Journal of Animal Science shows that the concentrations of several blood variables, including glucose, antibodies, and red blood cells, can be indicators of life-threatening conditions in piglets. By considering these blood variables, as well as birth order and birth weight, producers could better identify at-risk piglets.
Lack of fertility in cows linked to mysterious male DNA
The genomes of cows that have difficulty reproducing often contain fragments of the male Y chromosome, according to a new study in press in the Journal of Animal Science. The researchers say this finding could help cattle producers identify subfertile females before investing time and resources on breeding attempts.
Young male cattle have increased risk of respiratory disease during transport
According to a study by researchers at Kansas State University, excessive travel can have detrimental effects on the respiratory health and overall performance of cattle. In a paper published online ahead of print by the Journal of Animal Science, the researchers reported that male cattle, post-weaning cattle and cattle traveling during the summer showed increased risk for contracting Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRD); BRD can be fatal to cattle, and cattle that survive can have long-term lung problems.
Symposium summary: The crucial role of the extracellular matrix in meat marbling and tenderness
Scientists used to think the extracellular matrix (ECM) was simply a kind of scaffolding. That was partly true; the ECM is a non-living mix of proteins that sits between cells and provides structural support. But research has revealed that the ECM also plays a crucial role in the development of new cells in the body. Scientists now think that signals in the ECM can spark the transformation of immature cells into muscle and fat cells.
Symposium summary: the nervous system of the gut
When many people think of the nervous system, they think of the brain. After all, we are taught that the body cannot feel hot or cold, pain or comfort without a signal from the all-important brain. Yet scientists today are looking at other parts of the nervous system, called “peripheral” nervous systems, which regulate body functions on their own. One important area is the gut, where the gut nervous system responds to nutrients and keeps the body healthy.
Producers breed better cows faster through genomic selection
In a paper published this month in Animal Frontiers, scientists explain how genomic selection can help dairy cow breeders. Genetic selection does not require producers to wait until an animal matures to determine whether it shows good traits, such as high milk yield. By analyzing the DNA of their animals, producers can identify animals with good traits as soon as they are born.
Jump here, not there: Helping control sea lice infestations in Atlantic salmon populations
Infestations of sea lice in Atlantic salmon farms cause health problems for fish and economic problems for producers. But researchers from the University of Melbourne and the Institute of Marine Research in Norway have discovered a new way to manipulate the behavior of Atlantic salmon and keep fish safe from sea lice. Their research was published in the December issue of the Journal of Animal Science.
Symposium summary: How periods of light and dark affect dairy cows
Cows, like almost all animals, have evolved internal “clocks” to respond physically to the cycles of daytime and nighttime. In humans, periods of lightness and darkness, called photoperiods, regulate when we wake up or feel tired. In dairy cows, longer exposure to daylight increases milk production.
Longer transport times could reduce pig stress
To better understand what causes stress in pigs, scientists at the University of Illinois recently conducted a study focusing on the effects of floor space during transport, the length of the journey and the stress levels of hogs. The researchers found that pig producers may be able to reduce animal stress by giving pigs time to recover from stress between loading and unloading of transport trailers.
Better dairy cow productivity comes with a price
For years, dairy producers have bred cows that make more milk, perhaps at the expense of reproductive health. In a recent Journal of Animal Science paper, scientists from the University College Dublin urged researchers to take a closer look at the effects of stress and infections on dairy cow fertility. The review of cow genetics, nutrition, and hygiene could help dairy producers keep their herds healthy and help cows produce more calves.
Increased selenium in sheep diets can improve wool production in lambs
A lack of the nutrient selenium in sheep diets can result in lamb loss, white muscle disease, reduced growth and other health problems. Giving sheep selenium supplements during gestation is common in the sheep industry to improve lamb production and meat quality. To further understand the effects of selenium on wool production, researchers at North Dakota State University recently studied the consequences of feeding increased amounts of selenium to pregnant ewes.
To save babies from suffocation, scientists study sheep births
In human babies, a lack of oxygen during birth can have tragic consequences. This suffocation, called fetal asphyxia, can cause severe brain damage and stillbirth. To better understand the causes of fetal asphyxia, a team of Uruguayan scientists recently conducted a study of sheep, an animal that closely resembles humans during birth.
Sheep study could shed light on human pregnancies
In human infants, traits like reduced birth weight and late-preterm birth are associated with health problems later in life. To aid those studying human pregnancies, a group of scientists from Texas A&M University and the University of Florida recently published data showing the stages of sheep fetal and placental development.
Changes in discharge permitting may help CAFO owners
While CAFO owners try to follow the Clean Water Act, many find the permitting system overly complicated, expensive, and confusing. In this summary, two University of Georgia researchers explain the challenges for CAFOs and offer a solution.
Sheep flock to new flavors, increase intake
Sheep given a variety of feed flavors will stop gorging and start eating more small meals over the course of the day. These findings, published August in the Journal of Animal Science, could help livestock producers maximize feed intake and nutrient efficiency at the same time.
Study shows contradictions, mysteries in fetal nutrition research
To learn more about how prenatal undernutrition affects postnatal development, scientists from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, AgroParisTech, and Alfort School of Veterinary Medicine restricted the feed of pregnant goats during the last third of pregnancy. Their paper, published July in the Journal of Animal Science, shows the results of maternal feed restriction on kids’ emotional and feeding behavior, growth and metabolism
Using retinal images to trace livestock
While livestock managers rely on traditional animal tracing methods, like ear tags and electric transponders, researchers in Spain have an eye on retinal imaging. A team of scientists from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona recently used retinal images (RI) to trace a group of lambs from weaning to yearling stages.
Over-crowding in uterus harms fetal pig health
The report by van der Waaij et al. is entitled “Effect of excessive, hormonally induced intrauterine crowding in the gilt on fetal development on day 40 of pregnancy.” It was first published online by the Journal of Animal Science in April, 2010. Read it in full at jas.fass.org.
Closely-linked mutations affect meat production in pigs
The paper, entitled “The IGF2 intron3-g.3072G>A polymorphism is not the only SSC2p mutation affecting meat production and carcass traits in pigs: evidences from the effects of cathepsin D (CTSD) gene polymorphism” can be found in full at jas.fass.org:J Anim Sci 2010 88: 2904-2912.
Scientists predict the future of cattle feed intake
The paper is entitled “Development and evaluation of feeding-period average dry matter intake prediction equations from a commercial feedlot database,” and can be found in full at jas.fass.org: J Anim Sci 2010 88: 3009-3017.
Holstein genes show clues to cause of twinning
The report by Bierman et al. is entitled “Fine-mapping quantitative trait loci for twinning rate on BTA14 in North American Holsteins.” It was first published online by the Journal of Animals Science in March, 2010. Read it in full at jas.fass.org: J. Anim Sci. 2010 88: 2556-2564.