Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Invitro Calves: Test Tube "Babies" Survive Birth And Beyond

Date:
January 16, 1998
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
UF researchers successfully perform invitro fertilization procedure in cattle for client.

By Sarah Carey

GAINESVILLE, Fla.---To catch the latest development in invitro fertilization, steer your attention to the cattle pen. That sound you hear might be test tubes clinking.

For the first time at the University of Florida's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, researchers have successfully performed an invitro fertilization procedure in cattle. Previously only commercial laboratories are thought to have performed the procedure for a private client in the United States.

"It was also the first time that any invitro produced animal has been delivered at the teaching hospital; actually, we delivered four calves within one week," said Dr. Maarten Drost, professor of reproduction at UF's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Within one month, two of the four calves, all delivered by Caesarean section, died because of health complications.

The surviving calves, now almost 2 months old, are thriving on Don Bennink's North Florida Holsteins dairy farm in Bell, about 40 miles northwest of Gainesville.

Known as "No. Fla. Major" and "No. Fla. Colonel," the calves are healthy and weigh approximately 250 pounds apiece, up from 110 and 108 pounds each at birth, Drost said. The big-eyed, black-and-white half-brothers are indistinguishable from the other calves housed at the farm's feed lot as they stare at onlookers and munch on lunch.

Drost said the calves are high quality and were produced from genetically desirable cows headed for slaughter. Because of health conditions including chronic hip lameness and an abnormal uterus, the donor cows were unable to produce offspring through normal reproductive methods. Their eggs were fertilized and cultured in the test tube, then transferred into healthy, surrogate mothers.

"It was a great learning experience," said Drost. "It took a tremendous team effort involving our veterinary reproduction section, the people at North Florida Holsteins and several people at UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to make this happen."

Cows with attributes such as high milk production, disease resistance and physical configuration are considered extremely valuable by the dairy industry. Other superior features include fertility, strong feet and legs and certain functional characteristics such as good udder attachment, which lowers the risk of mastitis.

"Many of these traits lead to longevity and high lifetime productivity in terms of milk and calves," Drost said. "The payoff for the owner is the multiplication of genetically superior animals, and the production of several calves from one cow within one year rather than a single calf -- occasionally twins -- per year."

Bennink was pleased with the outcome.

"There was no way to produce any progeny without going through this procedure," said Bennink, whose farm is home to 6,500 head of cattle -- 3,600 of which are of milking age. "The only way to get offspring from these cows was to literally remove the eggs from their ovaries and fertilize them."

Drost first became involved when Bennink contacted him by phone last summer to ask if UF veterinarians could use invitro techniques to produce offspring from the nonfunctional cows.

"I synchronized the cows' estrous cycles and we removed their eggs," Drost said.

"In the end, we came up with eight good-quality embryos."

Meanwhile, Bennink identified eight recipient cows. Placing the embryos inside the uteri of the recipients was the next step.

"This took a large number of people," Drost said. "We worked closely with dairy science personnel to help manage and carry the surrogate mothers to term."

While his farm has pursued invitro fertilization through commercial facilities, the procedure generally is considered highly technical and requiring considerable experience, Bennink said. "Only certain people are doing it. It was nice to find out we could do this so close to home."

---------------------------------------

Recent UF Health Science Center news releases also are available on the UF Health Science Center Communications home page. Point your browser to http://www.vpha.health.ufl.edu/hscc/index.html

For the UF Health Science Center topic/expert list, point your browser to http://www.health.ufl.edu/hscc/experts.html

Academic components of the UF Health Science Center include the colleges of Dentistry, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine. Clinical enterprises of the UF Health Science Center include Shands Hospital at UF, the UF Faculty Group Practice and a statewide network of UF-affiliated hospitals and clinics. Point your browser to http:// www.vpha.health.ufl.edu


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "Invitro Calves: Test Tube "Babies" Survive Birth And Beyond." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980116142351.htm>.
University of Florida. (1998, January 16). Invitro Calves: Test Tube "Babies" Survive Birth And Beyond. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980116142351.htm
University of Florida. "Invitro Calves: Test Tube "Babies" Survive Birth And Beyond." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980116142351.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The best canine surfers gathered for Huntington Beach's annual dog surfing competition, "Surf City, Surf Dog." Duration: 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins