Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

U.S. Shorts Critical Farm Animal Research, Scientists Say

Date:
April 30, 2009
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Dwindling federal funding jeopardizes important animal and biomedical research, together with the institutional research programs that focus on them, a group of scientists warn.

Cows and other large animals are important research subjects for human and animal health, Michigan State University professor James Ireland and colleagues say.
Credit: Michigan State University

Dwindling federal funding jeopardizes important animal and biomedical research, together with the institutional research programs that focus on them, a group of Michigan State University scientists warn.

The alarm was sounded in the journal Science by MSU researchers James Ireland, George Smith, Jose Cibelli and five colleagues from other institutions. It comes just as the landmark sequencing of the domestic cattle genome is reported in the same issue.

Only $32 million of the $88 billion 2007 U.S. Department of Agriculture budget went toward competitive farm animal research grants, the group wrote. The proportion of the National Institutes of Health budget for extramural support of human health research is more than 900 times larger, they said, while U.S. livestock and poultry sales exceed $132 billion annually.

Animal science programs are withering at American institutions as a consequence, they warned. Not only are certain farm animal species themselves facing threats -- poultry in particular face loss of breed genetic diversity – but human health studies might also suffer from lack of funding for large-animal research.

Seventeen Nobel laureates have used farm animals as research models, they wrote, and new information on animal genetics – such as the bovine genome sequence reported today – promise new insights into gene function as well as genetic and environmental influences on animal production and human disease.

While more difficult and costly to maintain, farm animals are often better research subjects than rats and mice, Ireland said, and size often does matter. Chickens contract hard-to-detect ovarian cancer as humans do, for example, and pigs are highly suitable for obesity, cardiovascular and alcohol consumption research.

"The cow is an excellent model for studies on reproduction in the human," Ireland said, "because it's one of the few species that actually has follicular growth dynamics very similar to what takes place in humans."

Private interests continue to fund agricultural research and development, they noted, but "such funds are highly focused on commercial interests and not on basic research."

Ireland and colleagues want increased federal consideration for large-animal models in grant awards and for establishment of dedicated research centers. Agriculture and veterinary schools also should recruit "nontraditional faculty" prepared to interact with the broader life-sciences community, they wrote, to seek National Institutes of Health funding and help break barriers that isolate agricultural programs.

Research conducted by Ireland, Smith and Cibelli is supported by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. R. M. Roberts, G. W. Smith, F. W. Bazer, J. Cibelli, G. E. Seidel, Jr., D. E. Bauman, L. P. Reynolds, and J. J. Ireland. Farm Animal Research in Crisis. Science, 2009; 324 (5926): 468-469 DOI: 10.1126/science.1168521

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "U.S. Shorts Critical Farm Animal Research, Scientists Say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423142450.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2009, April 30). U.S. Shorts Critical Farm Animal Research, Scientists Say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423142450.htm
Michigan State University. "U.S. Shorts Critical Farm Animal Research, Scientists Say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423142450.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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