CEbiotech.com - Central European Biotechnology Portal
be visible on the BioBusiness market                  ISSN 2300-0228
How does a hole in a cow’s body help scientists to reduce global warming?

How does a hole in a cow’s body help scientists to reduce global warming?

Publish date: 2013-03-25

When we think about the climate change and greenhouse gases - human activities, like vehicles, industry and agriculture, comes to our mind. The gas, which is known to be highly harmful for our climate is carbon dioxide, but methane is even 23 times more dangerous in terms of global warming.

Tags: researches , agriculture , global warming

The source of air pollutants, whose relevancy is often not appreciated, is grazing cattle. Actually, the amount of methane released by a cow can be compared to the pollution generated by a car, being about 200-500 liters daily. Taking into account transportation of animal products and feed production, livestock constitutes even higher environmental burden due to greenhouse gases emission, surpassing transport.

 

How do cows generate methane?

In order to understand the process of methane production and its subsequent release by cows, the focus has to be laid on an unusual mechanism of food digestion harnessed by these animals, jointly called ruminants. Instead of one stomach, there are four of them in the digestive tract of cows. The second striking difference between human and cow's digestion mechanism is the ability to digest cellulose. We, as humans, cannot eat paper or grass since we are deprived of necessary enzymes digesting bonds linking glucose units in cellulose chains. In case of ruminants, in turn, there are special, symbiotic microorganisms which fulfill the role of cellulose digestion. That is why grass, the main ingredient of cow diet, can be ingested by them.

When a cow swallows a bite of grass, it is transported to the rumen, the first of the animal's stomachs. After grass is partially digested by microorganisms, it travels in the reverse direction, reaches the mouth and is chewed once again. Unfortunately to our climate, there is a by-product of anaerobic cellulose fermentation generated by some of these symbiotic microorganisms, namely methane, which can be treated as a waste compound.

 

How can the amount of greenhouse gases be reduced?

In order to examine the process of methane generation in cow's stomach, a rather unusual technique can be applied. Sometimes, for research purposes, so-called cow fistulation is performed. The aim of this operation is to create a permanent hole in the body of a cow, leading directly to its rumen. To prevent the hole from closing, an additional element, called cannula, is introduced, which is simply a rubber ring with a lid that can be opened to access the stomach. According to scientists dealing with cannulated cows, this artificially applied element makes no difference to animals, neither inhibiting life processes nor generating pain.

Thanks to cannulas, researchers have an opportunity to scrutinise the process of specific pasture digestion. Cows are allowed to graze, then a sample of digesting material is taken through a cannula and analysed. In this way, the digestion process can be examined in case of different animal feeds and, by the modification of their content, the most optimal one can be chosen. Going further, thanks to the provision of specific pasture composition or by the addition of specific additives inhibiting the production of methane during fermentation process, the amount of greenhouse gases can be significantly reduced, giving hope for more environmentally friendly cattle breeding.

 

by Jakub Chrustowicz

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livestock's_Long_Shadow

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?newsID=20772&CR1=warning#.UUxr6ByLiSo

http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/mammals/methane-cow.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannulated_cow

http://awp.diaart.org/dunning/cowstomach.html

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/09/28/3023670.htm

http://www.umb.no/iha-etn/article/fistula-cows-with-holes-in-their-stomachs/

 

Comments:

Add comment
Gregorykushi
2018-02-24 19:09:02 +0100
Buy Palbace Lemon Quaaludes,BOTOX,XANAX,VA, We have medications for the treatment of chronic back pains, cough, anxiety,panic disorder, depression, erectile dysfunction, dysfunction,adhd,narcolepsy, obesity,depression, fatigue,Weight Loss supplement and more online (no prescription required).We sell quality medications online at affordable and discount prices. Fast and secure overnight delivery. We are ready to sell minimum quantities and large supplies of our product worldwide (SHIPPING IS WORLDWIDE). Below is a list of some of our product : Klonopin 1mg,2mg Ativan Opama 10mg,20mg,30mg,40mg Ambien Soma 350mg Oxycotin Hydrocodone Roxicodone Percocert Lorazepam 2.5 mg (Ativan) Clonazepam 2 mg (Rivotril) Valium 2mg,5mg and 10mg Fentalyn patches Tramadol (Ultram) 50mg etc........ We offer: - Good quality Medications - Good and affordable prices. - Fast and Reliable delivery -Tracking Available! -Tracking numbers available with references. - Various shipping option (Overnight and Airmail). -Shipping secure and discreet ,Delivery time OVERNIGHT & 1-5 days depending on location. - Buy with and without Prescription Required! -Additional Discounts on Bulk Orders - Buy Direct and Save Time and Money! - 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed ! Contact via details below: EMAIL.....jamesbernal2001@gmail.com CONTACT NUMBER...9046868791
Guest
2016-04-03 05:57:19 +0200
My name is Jessica Luis, and I base in USA...My life is back!!! After 1 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr Mohammed, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called Sonia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr Mohammed's e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before Dr Mohammed, is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man... If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems for you. Try High monicaspiritualtemple@gmail.com anytime, he might be the answer to your problems. Here's his contact: monicaspiritualtemple@gmail.com or call him +2348134493948
See also
Life Sciences Employers are becoming more militant in the battle for talents. It is not only about sourcing th... Read more
Tags: researches , bioforum , czech republic
DISCO project, led by VTT Technical Centre of Finland has developed powerful enzymes, which are able to acceler... Read more
Tags: biotechnology , agriculture , finland
CROmed Research and Services is an enterprise offering a wide range of biomedical services. Two of the principa... Read more
Tags: researches , medicine , hungary