Will Understanding Cows Help Humans?

August 22nd, 2012
Will Understanding Cows Help Humans?

Scientists have started looking at how cows become infertile in order to help understand the same problem in humans.

Researchers in Washington State University recently received a grant of over $1 million from the National Institute of Health in the USA in order to look at the reasons why cows lose their offspring. Doing so, the scientists believe it will help them gain a better insight into why humans also miscarry.

You might well be wondering how, but it seems both species possess a similar problem – miscarrying about one-third of the time within the first 2 to 3 weeks of pregnancy.

One of the lead researchers involved in this study, Holly Neiberg who specialises in genetics, told reporters that the general public probably doesn’t appreciate how similar a lot of mammalian species are to one another.

Dr. Neiberg pointed out that the hormonal cycle in female humans and cows is remarkably similar. For instance, she said that both have twins under similar age circumstances.

She also suggested while the gestation period of a cow is longer than that of a human woman, it was close in enough in time for scientists to make educated comparisons. Cows gestate for just one month longer than women.

Dr. Neiberg added that the researchers are trying to understand the mechanism of how cows become infertile, so that they can have more healthy cows that are fertile without having to use medications, drugs or things like that.

In turn, this information is likely to shed some much needed valuable light on why humans can become infertile. Plus it will help prevent the over-use of fertility treatments, which can be both expensive and unsuccessful.

Perhaps the research will finally point doctors in the right direction on the best approach to treatment.


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