Bovine tuberculosis is a serious problem in many parts of the world, resulting in the culling of thousands of cattle each year and at tremendous cost. Now, Chinese scientists have produced a herd of transgenic cows that exhibit an improved ability to ward off the disease.
How much does it cost to eat a steak? Over at Science Friday, they're taking on that question not in terms of dollars but in terms of land and water use. Beef stacks up highest by far among animal proteins in resource consumption, using up 28 times the amount of land than poultry does.
If it's not birds, it's cows. Over the weekend, 390 cows were being transported by Boeing 747. As the plane was somewhere over the Irish Sea, a fire alarm went off, and the pilot was forced to give a mayday call and make an unscheduled landing.
The concept of cattle branding may make some people squeamish, but the ancient practice is one of the main factors keeping the world's cattle trade from falling into chaos. Of course, cattle rustlers snatching your steers was more of a problem in the mid-1800's, but there's still no better way of keeping your stock…
In a 360-acre field in the county of Northumberland, there are large beasts ten times rarer than the mountain gorilla and the Siberian tiger and three times rarer than the right whale. Humans haven't even touched them in centuries.
Cows are quite possibly the most important domesticated animal in human history, providing vast quantities of meat, dairy products, leather, and let's not forget manure for fertilizer. And yet DNA analysis reveals ancient humans almost didn't succeed in domesticating cows at all.
Cattle and other livestock create tons of damaging greenhouse gases, particularly when you consider everything humans have to do to turn a cow in a field into dinner on your plate. There may be one environmentally friendly solution: eating bugs.
Spare a thought for the cows when you're surfing the net in the coming years, won't you? Their manure will be shoveled and turned into fuel, so companies such as HP can power their data centers and save the world.