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Grandmother killer whales boost survival of calves

Grandmother killer whales boost survival of calves

Science
Grandmother killer whales boost the survival rates of their grandchildren, a new study has said.The survival rates were even higher if the grandmother had already gone through the menopause.The findings shed valuable light on the mystery of the menopause, or why females of some species live long after they lose the ability to reproduce.Only five known animals experience it: killer whales, short-finned pilot whales, belugas, narwhals and humans.With humans, there is some evidence that human grandmothers aid in the survival of their children and grandchildren, a hypothesis called the "grandmother effect".These findings suggest the same effect occurs in orcas."If a grandmother dies, in the years following her death, her grand-offsp...
DNA editing sees horned bull father six hornless calves

DNA editing sees horned bull father six hornless calves

Technology
Scientists say they have developed an alternative to the practice of de-horning cattle after a genome-edited horned bull fathered six hornless calves.Researchers at the University of California spent two years studying the offspring after altering the DNA of the father, which they hoped would influence the characteristics of its young. Their work - detailed in the journal Nature Biotechnology - proved successful, with none of them developing horns but otherwise being perfectly healthy.It is hoped the technology could sound the death knell for the unpleasant practice of de-horning, which farmers carry out to protect themselves and other animals from potential harm.Study author Alison Van Eenennaam said genome editing offers a pain-free alternative by introducing a naturally occurring geneti...