Tag Archives | Cattle

Strain of Deadly ‘Flesh-Eating’ MRSA Bacteria Originally Came from Cattle

roflbotMuch like HIV made the leap from non-human primates to us, a strain of the antibacterial-resistant pathogen MRSA seems to have originated with cattle:

Via Eurekalert:

A strain of bacteria that causes skin and soft tissue infections in humans originally came from cattle, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The researchers who conducted the genetic analysis of strains of Staphylococcus aureus known as CC97 say these strains developed resistance to methicillin after they crossed over into humans around forty years ago. Today, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain CC97 is an emerging human pathogen in Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. The findings highlight the potential for cows to serve as a reservoir for bacteria with the capacity for pandemic spread in humans.

The researchers sequenced the genomes of 43 different CC97 isolates from humans, cattle, and other animals, and plotted their genetic relationships in a phylogenetic tree.

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Houston School Districts To Use Electronic Cattle Tags On Children

Photo: ken ratcliff (CC)

In a sense, it’s positive that we at least care about our children’s whereabouts as much as prized livestock. The Dallas Morning News writes:

Two school districts in the Houston area have begun monitoring students whereabouts on campus by issuing them identification badges with radio frequency identification technology – the same technology used to track cattle.

The Spring school district in Houston has distributed the ID badges to about 13,500 of its 36,000 students since December 2008. The Santa Fe school district, about 30 miles south of Houston, began using the badges this year.

School officials say the devices improve security and increase attendance rates, a figure that’s important because some school funding is tied to attendance. ”It feels like someone’s watching you at all times,” said Jacorey Jackson, 11, a sixth-grader at Bailey.

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Genetically Modified Cows Produce Milk Similar To Humans

DairyCowWill cows be feeding our newborns in the future? Genetically modified cows are now producing milk with similar properties of breast milk. Popular Science reports:

In a potential new step for genetically modified food, babies could someday drink human-like milk derived from herds of genetically modified dairy cows, which scientists say could supplement breast milk and replace baby formula.

Scientists have created 300 cows that produce milk with some of the properties of human breast milk, including lysozyme, which fights bacteria and improves infants’ immune systems in their first few days of life.

Researchers in China introduced genes that express human lysozyme (also called HLZ) and other human proteins into Holstein cattle embryos, and implanted the embryos into surrogate cows. When the GM cows started lactating, their milk contained HLZ and two other proteins.

Using a new purification process, the researchers were apparently able to make the milk taste more human — they increased its fat content and changed the amounts of milk solids, according to the Telegraph.

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