December 22, 2016
CONTACT: Dr. Ty Lawrence, 806-651-2550
COPY BY: Mayara Naciemento, 806-651-2129
WTAMU Cloning Research Story In Texas Monthly
In 2012, Dr. Ty Lawrence, an animal science professor at West Texas A&M University, cloned prime carcass from a slaughterhouse and created Alpha, a bull that was actually “born” from a piece of meat. The project was taken to a different level that could possibly transform the whole beef production industry.
Last year, a team of WTAMU researchers crossed Alpha with three cloned cows from different prime carcass. The outcome of this process was 13 calves, the first ones ever produced from two cloned carcasses. In May this year, seven of them were slaughtered for evaluation. The results showed that not only the clones’ offspring were bigger, but the taste and texture of the meat were considered above average by those who tried it. In other words, they were able to produce a bigger amount of meat with better quality.
Dr. Lawrence said this experiment meets the exact need of the beef industry: “By finding, cloning, and crossing these rare genetics, we have demonstrated the ability to create exactly what the market desires: high quality taste fat without unnecessary waste fat”, he said.
This past June, the University held a press conference to announce the findings that the WTAMU scientists have been working on for years. The WT cloning press conference attracted the attention of media from all over the country and the Texas Panhandle, such as the respectable magazine, Texas Monthly. http://www.texasmonthly.com/food/west-texas-a-m-cloned-cows/
An important fact is the offspring of the clones were created from unaltered DNA of slaughtered animals and raised by their mothers around native pastures, just like cattle are in the traditional commercial production.
It is still early for further considerations, but the project already presents effective and important results for both the cloning research field and the cattle industry. Lead by Dr. Lawrence, the team will keep working and more impressive results shall come from this idea.