Tag Archives: Small Ruminants

* Nottingham Dollies prove cloned sheep can live long and healthy lives

Three weeks after the scientific world marked the 20th anniversary of the birth of Dolly the sheep new research, published by The University of Nottingham, in the academic journal Nature Communications has shown that four clones derived from the same cell line — genomic copies of Dolly — reached their 8th birthdays in good health. […]

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US government issues historic $3.5-million fine over animal welfare

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Antibody provider Santa Cruz Biotechnology settles with government after complaints about treatment of goats. Santa Cruz Biotech has used goats to produce antibodies. The US government has fined Santa Cruz Biotechnology, a major antibody provider, US$3.5 million over alleged violations of the US Animal Welfare Act. The penalty from the US Department of Agriculture is […]

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Thousands of goats and rabbits vanish from major biotech lab

Santa Cruz Biotechnology has used goats to make antibodies for research. In July 2015, the major antibody provider Santa Cruz Biotechnology owned 2,471 rabbits and 3,202 goats. Now the animals have vanished, according to a recent federal inspection report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The company, which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is […]

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Sunshine vitamin linked to improved fertility in wild animals

High levels of vitamin D are linked to improved fertility and reproductive success, a study of wild sheep has found. The study, carried out on a remote Hebridean island, adds to growing evidence that vitamin D — known as the sunshine vitamin — is associated with reproductive health. Experts hope that further studies will help […]

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Mimicry helps sheep solve a dilemma

Imitation behaviors play a key role in many collective phenomena seen in animals. An analysis of the collective movements of grazing sheep has revealed that sheep alternate slow dispersion phases with very fast regrouping, in which they imitate the behavior of their neighbors. This study, conducted by researchers from the CNRS, CEA, and the Universities […]

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* New study rewrites genetic history of sheep

At a time when the price of mutton is climbing and wool crashing, a groundbreaking new study has used advanced genetic sequencing technology to rewrite the history of sheep breeding and trading along the ancient Silk Road–insights that can help contemporary herders in developing countries preserve or recover valuable traits crucial to their food and […]

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Pupil shape linked to animals’ ecological niche

While the eyes may be a window into one’s soul, new research led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the pupils could also reveal whether one is a hunter or hunted. An analysis of 214 species of land animals shows that a creature’s ecological niche is a strong predictor of pupil […]

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* Race to stamp out animal plague begins

Goats and sheep are sold frequently, which could challenge the vaccination effort against peste des petits ruminants. Humanity wiped out smallpox in 1980 and the cattle virus rinderpest in 2011. Polio stands on the brink of eradication, with just 21 cases recorded this year worldwide. Now, health officials have launched a global effort to vanquish […]

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* Close relationship of ruminant pestiviruses and classical swine fever virus

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To determine why serum from small ruminants infected with ruminant pestiviruses reacted positively to classical swine fever virus (CSFV)–specific diagnostic tests, we analyzed 2 pestiviruses from Turkey. They differed genetically and antigenically from known Pestivirus species and were closely related to CSFV. Cross-reactions would interfere with classical swine fever diagnosis in pigs. Pestiviruses are enveloped […]

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Developing vaccines for insect-borne viruses

Vaccines developed using proteins rather than live viruses can help protect animals and subsequently humans from insect-borne viruses, according to Alan Young, chief scientific officer for Medgene Labs, an animal health company that develops therapeutics and diagnostics, including vaccines. “Platform technologies — that is where our niche is,” said Young, who is also a veterinary […]

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* Scrapie could breach the species barrier

INRA scientists have shown for the first time that the pathogens responsible for scrapie in small ruminants (prions) have the potential to convert the human prion protein from a healthy state to a pathological state. In mice models reproducing the human species barrier, this prion induces a disease similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. These primary results […]

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Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites

In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual’s infection tolerance, researchers from PrincetonUniversity and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal’s ability to endure an internal parasite strongly influences its reproductive success. Reported in the journal PLoS Biology, the finding could provide the groundwork for boosting the resilience of humans and […]

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* Gene study shows how sheep first separated from goats

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Scientists have cracked the genetic code of sheep to reveal how they became a distinct species from goats around four million years ago. The study is the first to pinpoint the genetic differences that make sheep different from other animals. The findings could aid the development of DNA testing to speed-up selective breeding programmes, helping […]

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Goats are far more clever than previously thought, and have an excellent memory

This sequence shows how the goats needed to learn how to retrieve food from a box. They used a linked sequence of steps; first by pulling a lever with their mouths and then by lifting it to release the reward. Goats learn how to solve complicated tasks quickly and can recall how to perform them […]

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Male scent stimulates female goats’ fertility

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The distinctive aroma of goats does more than just make barnyards extra fragrant. Male goats can use their heady scent to make female goats ovulate simply by being near them. Researchers had ascribed this ‘male effect’ to chemicals known as primer pheromones — a chemical signal that can cause long-lasting physiological responses in the recipient. […]

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New vaccine against lung diseases in goats and sheep

An intranasal spray was developed using local isolated bacterium in Malaysia and it was found to provide better protection against infections by Mannheimia haemolytica bacterium than imported vaccines. Universiti Putra Malaysia has launched a new vaccine against lung or pneumonic diseases in goats and sheep that was developed and patented by its scientists. The soft […]

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Ticks kill sheep

In some lamb herds, a mortality rate of 30 percent has been recorded, albeit, no predators have been involved in these losses. The situation is so serious that the sheep industry could be under threat. It is therefore crucial to identify the causes and implement preventative measures. The answer may be found somewhere within the […]

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Atypical scrapie prions from sheep and lack of disease in transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein

Public and animal health controls to limit human exposure to animal prions are focused on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), but other prion strains in ruminants may also have zoonotic potential. One example is atypical/Nor98 scrapie, which evaded statutory diagnostic methods worldwide until the early 2000s. To investigate whether sheep infected with scrapie prions could be […]

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Big horns clash with longevity in sheep

Gene for small horns lowers sexual fitness but boosts lifespan. Soay sheep have greatest sexual fitness when they have two versions of a gene that determines horn size Red 78 — a ram with horns like elephant tusks — sired 95 lambs before he died at the ripe (for a ram) old age of nine. […]

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Schmallenberg virus among female lambs, Belgium, 2012

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Reemergence of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) occurred among lambs (n = 50) in a sheep flock in Belgium between mid-July and mid-October 2012. Bimonthly assessment by quantitative reverse transcription PCR and seroneutralization demonstrated that 100% of lambs were infected. Viremia duration may be longer in naturally infected than in experimentally infected animals. During late summer and […]

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Potential new target to thwart antibiotic resistance: Viruses in gut confer antibiotic resistance to bacteria

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Bacteria in the gut that are under attack by antibiotics have allies no one had anticipated, a team of Wyss Institute scientists has found. Gut viruses that usually commandeer the bacteria, it turns out, enable them to survive the antibiotic onslaught, most likely by handing them genes that help them withstand the drug. What’s more, […]

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Schmallenberg virus genome engineered to understand how to reduce disease caused by the virus

Scientists engineer the Schmallenberg virus genome to understand how to reduce disease caused by the virus. Researchers from the MRC Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have developed methods to synthesize and change the genome of Schmallenberg virus (SBV). SBV is a recently discovered pathogen of livestock such as cattle, […]

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First goat genome sets a good example for facilitating de novo assembly of large genomes

In a collaborative study published online today in Nature Biotechnology, researchers from Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, BGI, and other institutes, have completed the first genome sequence of domestic goat by a robust approach integrated with next-generation sequencing (NGS) and whole-genome mapping (WGM) technologies. The goat genome is the first reference genome […]

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Resistant parasites in sheep in Norway

Sheep in the Norwegian counties of Rogaland and Hordaland have an increased risk of hosting gastrointestinal parasites which cannot be efficiently treated with benzimidazole — the most frequently used deworming agent for sheep in Norway. A national monitoring programme, increased focus on good treatment procedures and reducing excessive treatment are measures that can prevent the […]

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Selfish sheep seek the center

To escape a hungry wolf, a sheep doesn’t have to outrun the wolf, just the other sheep in its flock. Many researchers think that such selfish behavior, not cooperation for the benefit of the whole crowd, shapes the movements of groups of animals. But the decades-old “selfish herd theory” has been hard to back up […]

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Vaccine for deadly sheep virus is on its way

A deadly, previously unknown virus that triggers abortions in sheep, goats and cattle, is spreading around Europe, causing more trouble for the beleaguered livestock industry. But farmers may have a vaccine to fight it with by next year. Virologists are meeting in Lelystad, the Netherlands, this week to discuss Schmallenberg virus, which belongs to a […]

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Goat kids can develop accents

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The ability to change vocal sounds (vocal plasticity) and develop an accent is potentially far more widespread in mammals than previously believed, according to new research on goats from Queen Mary, University of London. Vocal plasticity is the ability of an individual to modify the sound of their voice according to their social environment. Humans […]

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Discovery uses ‘fracture putty’ to repair broken bone in days

Broken bones in humans and animals are painful and often take months to heal. Studies conducted in part by University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center researchers show promise to significantly shorten the healing time and revolutionize the course of fracture treatment. “Complex fractures are a major cause of amputation of limbs for U.S. military men […]

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New animal virus takes northern Europe by surprise

Scientists in northern Europe are scrambling to learn more about a new virus that causes fetal malformations and stillbirths in cattle, sheep, and goats. For now, they don’t have a clue about the virus’s origins or why it’s suddenly causing an outbreak; in order to speed up the process, they want to share the virus […]

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Gene therapy shows promise as hemophilia treatment in animal studies

For the first time, researchers have combined gene therapy and stem cell transplantation to successfully reverse the severe, crippling bleeding disorder hemophilia A in large animals, opening the door to the development of new therapies for human patients. Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, collaborating with other institutions, report in […]

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