Showing posts from June, 2013

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Hereford and Red Angus Heifers Recruited for Genomics Research

The University of Missouri is recruiting 2,500 Hereford heifers and 2,500 Red Angus heifers to participate in a heifer puberty and fertility genomic research project. Heifers should be registered Hereford, registered Red Angus, or commercial Hereford or Red Angus. Hereford x Red Angus crossbred heifers targeted for the Premium Red Baldy Program would also be a good fit for the research project. Producers must be willing to work with a trained veterinarian to collect the following data: ReproductiveTract Scores collected at a pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season. PelvicMeasurements (height and width) collected at the same pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season. Pregnancy Determination Using Ultrasound reporting fetal age in days. Ultrasound will need to occur no later than 90 days after the start of the breeding season. In addition, heifers must have known birth dates and have weights recorded eithe

Comparison of updated Angus GE-EPD tests

As you may know, both Zoetis and GeneSEEK have updated their genomic tests. Zoetis still uses about 50,000 SNPs, but have now trained their data set with more animal records and genotypes. The genetic correlations for the Zoetis test range from 0.38 to 0.73. See  this Angus Journal article  for more information. GeneSeek now use about 80,000 SNPs in its genomic test. The genetic correlations for the GeneSeek test range from 0.60 to 0.70 for most traits, except milk which is at about 0.4 and calving ease direct which is at 0.34. See this explanation  from the American Angus Association. So, the accuracy differences appear to be pretty small. Both tests cost $75. If you add genetic abnormality tests, such as AM, NH, or CA, to the Zoetis test, you pay $23.00 per test. If you add an the same genetic abnormality tests to the GeneSeek test, you pay $8.00 per test. See the Angus Genetics Inc.  website  or  for more details.

Scientific Hype Cycle

Gartner Research's Hype Cycle diagram , by Jeremy Kemp. 27 December 2007. Used under a CC-BY-SA license.   I was recently told that I was being over exuberant in my promotion of genomic technologies. If I have slipped into hyperbole , it has been for two reasons: a) An unintentional mistake. b) Push back against the disillusionment of a valid technology. In previous decades new DNA technologies, such as microsatellites, AFLP markers, etc, lead to a lot of hype about how the beef industry was going to be radically changed by these DNA technologies. These were the "Technology Trigger" and "Peak of Inflated Expectations" in the diagram above. I've previously described that these single gene DNA tests completely under-performed compared to expectations. Consequentially, the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" was followed by the "Trough of Disillusionment". In this period of disillusionment, two important things happened. First,