Knowledge for better food systems

News: Mysteries of the moo-crobiome: Could tweaking cow gut bugs improve beef?

Image: Pete, The Cows…, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have sequenced the genomes of 913 types of microbes found inside cows’ digestive systems, hoping to discover more about the types of enzymes that the microbes use to break down the food.

Eventually, scientists might be able to use this knowledge to improve digestion or reduce methane emissions, for example by transferring microbes from one animal to another. Further work is needed to understand the interactions between different microbes.

Read the full story here. See also the Foodsource resource How far could changes in production practices reduce GHG emissions?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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