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Researchers generate cattle blastoids in lab to aid farm animal reproduction

Date: 8.5.2023 

UT Southwestern Medical Center stem cell and developmental biologists and colleagues have developed a method to produce bovine blastoids, a crucial step in replicating embryo formation in the lab that could lead to the development of new reproductive technologies for cattle breeding.

Kredit: UT Southwestern Medical Center.Current efforts are hampered by a limited supply of embryos, so understanding the mechanisms for creating successful bovine blastocyst-like structures in the lab could prove valuable for improving reproduction in cattle. This technology could potentially lead to faster genetic gains in beef or dairy production or to reducing disease incidence in the animals.

"This study is the first demonstration of generating blastocyst-like structures (blastoids) from a livestock species," said Jun Wu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and the Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research. "With further optimization, the advancements in bovine blastoid technology could pave the way for innovative artificial reproductive methodologies in cattle breeding. This could, in turn, revolutionize traditional approaches to cattle breeding and herald a new era in livestock industry practices."

Bovine blastoids represent a valuable model to study early embryo development and understand the causes of early embryonic loss, said Dr. Wu.

Image source: UT Southwestern Medical Center.





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