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West Texas A&M Says Cloned Cows Can Create Better Beef

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West Texas A&M University near Amarillo is standing at the forefront of creating a new, higher-quality beef. In 2012, researchers used four cattle clones (one male, three female) to produce 13 calves. The overall goal is to consistently get grade 1 beef, which is usually only seen in .3 percent of cows.

Scientists obtained DNA samples from animals who provided desirable meat. Even though the bull they used had been dead for a week, they were able to create its clone, Alpha.  From a heifer’s DNA, they made Gamma I, II and III.

Seven calves were born from the cloned cattle in May, but only one was deemed prime grade. Yet, three more were considered “high choice” and the rest were “average.” None were called “low choice.” A cow must extremely healthy and to be grade 1 beef, and happily, these calves were all in good health after their birth.

According to theeagle.com, the president and CEO of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Ross Wilson, summarized “the findings [as] a ‘significant development’ that has the potential to one day benefit beef producers across the state and the country.”

Ty Lawrence, West Texas A&M professor of meat science, said the experiment will continue, but perhaps outside of the university. In order to gain access to growth-enhancing technology, the project will need to take place in a commercial environment.