Under the Microscope: Drought moves cattle, pig stem cells

Jun 19, 2014

Cattle come to Van Housen Feed Yard to be fattened up before heading to one of the nearby meat packing plants. Drought in beef states like Texas and Oklahoma has led to growth feedlots in Nebraska.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

For a long time, Texas was the center of cattle country. But drought is re-shaping the beef map and raising the price of steak. Ranchers are moving their herds from California to Colorado and from Texas to Nebraska by the thousands. They’re seeking refuge from dry weather and, as Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock reports, cattle producers in the Midwest are making the most of it.

For years, medical researchers have been searching for a way to study the effectiveness of stem cell therapies without testing them on humans. But it's difficult, and many problems pop up, including the fact that many animals reject the stem cell grafts or transplants.

MU researchers R. Michael Roberts and Randall S. Prather believe they've found the answer: The two have collaborated to create a genetically modified pig with an immune system that doesn't allow rejection.

KBIA's Ashley Reese sat down with the two researchers to discuss how these genetically modified pigs and this study will help further the research on stem cell therapy.