Dear Guernsey Breeders,
This page contains downloads
and direct links to matters that may be of importance to the
Guernsey Breed and Dairy Farming and Agriculture in General.
I try to present an unbiased picture of what is happening.
To access these files you
may need to download Adobe
IT'S A BULLS MARKET - Direct link by permission
to Science Abstract Full
GENOME-WIDE SURVEY of SNP Variation Uncovers
the Genetic Structure of Cattle Breeds-The Bovine HapMap Consortium Direct link by permission
to Science Abstract
Gene2Farm - Next generation European system
for cattle improvement and management
The Gene2Farm project will address the needs of the cattle
industry, in particular the SMEs and end users needs for an accessible,
robust, adaptable and reliable system to apply the new knowledge
of the bovine genome to genetic improvement in cattle, to underpin
sustainability and profitability of European cattle farming.
The project general objectives are:
- to derive complete genome information to understand genome
structure and to design high and low density genotyping panels.
- to develop the tools to impute higher density genome information
from lower density genotype data and to make exchange information
- to address the needs for measuring a wider range of biological
variables underlying important commercial traits, in order to
provide data on additional important traits for use in selection.
- to develop appropriate statistical models and applications
for using the genomic and phenotypic information in order to
optimise and customise genetic selection strategies.
- to disseminate the information to the SMEs, the wider cattle
breeding industry and to end users.
The Gene2Farm project will address the needs of the cattle
industry, in particular of the SMEs and end users, for an accessible,
adaptable and reliable system to apply the new genomic knowledge
to underpin sustainability and profitability of European cattle
farming. Gene2Farm will undertake a comprehensive programme of
work from statistical theory development, through genome sequencing,
to address new phenotyping approaches and the construction of
tools, that will be validated in conjunction with SMEs and industry
partners. Advanced statistical theory and applications will use
the genomic and phenotypic information to optimise and customise
genomic selection, breeding and population management and between
breed predictions. The project will sequence key animals and
exchange data with other international projects to create the
most comprehensive bovine genome sequence database. Detailed
analysis of these genome sequences will define genome structure,
shared alleles, frequencies and historic haplotypes, within and
between populations. This information will be used to optimise
the informativeness of SNP panels and select SNPs to tag haplotypes,
and hence ensure that genotype information can be used within
and between breeds. The project will explore the opportunities
for extended phenotypic collection, including the use of automated
on farm systems and will develop standardisation protocols that,
in consultation with ICAR, could be used by the industry for
data collection and management. Developed tools will be tested
and validated by demonstration in collaboration with dairy, dual
purpose, beef and minority breed organisations. Finally a dissemination
programme will ensure that training needs of the industry are
served from an entry level training programme for farmers to
advanced summer schools for the SMEs and expert user community.
the G2F Website
GUERNSEY MILK & BETA CASEIN A2
Among the unique qualities of Guernsey Milk is the presence
of the protein Beta-Casein A2 in the milk of approximately 96%
of Guernseys as opposed to most other European breeds which carry
a predominance of Beta-Casein A1. Guernsey cows can test A1/A1
or A1/A2 but the vast majority are A2/A2 cows.
Professor Keith Woodford has raised the global profile of
the potential benefits of A2 milk through his book 'Devil in
the Milk'. This very well researched book brought public attention
to a possible link between milk containing A1 beta-casein and
a range of serious illnesses, including heart disease, Type 1
diabetes, autism and schizophrenia.
'Polymorphism of bovine beta-casein and its potential effect
on human health' is a very clearly written paper by three Polish
scientists. The European Food Safety Authority produced a report,
'Review of the potential health impact of ß-casomorphins
and related peptides' (summary only published in GW) in which
it found that 'a cause-effect relationship between the oral intake
of BCM7 or related peptides and aetiology or cause of any suggested
non-communicable diseases cannot be established.'
However, the argument most strongly advanced by the proponents
of the benefits of A2 Milk is not that A1 Milk causes these illnesses
but rather that A1 milk is digested in a different way to A2
resulting in the release of a peptide or protein fragment called
Beta-Casomorphin-7 (BCM7). If this gets through the gut and into
the blood of genetically susceptible people it can have a detrimental
effect by exacerbating underlying problems.
There is an ongoing debate about how compelling the present
evidence is, but anecdotal evidence suggests that some people
who thought that they were lactose intolerant may be intolerant
to A1 milk through the release of BCM7. There is further anecdotal
evidence that some autistic people benefit from A2 milk. Unfortunately
most of the trials carried out so far have failed to meet strict
scientific standards, notably the double-blind discipline. However,
the International Journal Peptides recently published
a paper by Kost NV et al. (see link to this paper below) who
were able to isolate BCM7 in the blood of children that were
fed formula milk. They also discovered that some of the children
excreted BCM7 quite quickly while others did not. The children
who failed to excrete it rapidly tended to exhibit delayed development.
Specifically, the paper compared 37 breastfed babies with 53
fed with formula containing cow's milk. The researchers found
only one case of developmental delay in the breast-fed group
compared with 16 in the other group. More research is needed
but this seems to be a significant development.
Currently the largest volume of A2 milk sales is in Australia
where over10 million litres were sold in the last reported year
of trading by the A2 Corporation. Other countries have small
internal markets for A2 milk and some Guernsey herds are benefiting
from specific sales.
It may be many years before sufficient evidence of an acceptable
scientific standard is available to confirm or discredit the
A1/A2 hypothesis, mainly because of the scale, expense and difficulty
of conducting meaningful trials, but many respected scientists
are of the opinion that such research is merited. In the meantime
consumers have a choice, they can switch to A2 milk if they find
that it helps them. Guernsey breeders too have a choice. If they
think that A2 could be important to their future profitability
they can switch to using only A2/A2 bulls. WL Feb. 2010
some relevant papers in .pdf or follow links:
with Professor Keith Woodford by permission Acres USA (pdf)