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Feds Research Breeding Sheep With Lower Methane-Emitting Flatulence
Daily Caller ^ | 6/23/2014

Posted on 06/23/2014 5:18:51 PM PDT by llevrok

The U.S. government funded research into methane emissions from sheep digestive systems — flatulence and burps — to see why some sheep produce more of the greenhouse gas than others.

Researchers with the Energy Department’s Joint Genome Institute wanted to find out exactly why animals of the same species produce different levels of methane. The ultimate hope of the the research is to find ways to breed livestock that produce less methane when they pass gas.

“The deep sequencing study contributes to this breeding program by defining the microbial contribution to the methane trait, which can be used in addition to methane measurements to assist in animal selection,” said senior scientist Graeme Attwood with AgResearch Limited, a senior author on the paper.

JGI researchers looked at the methane emissions of 22 sheep that are part of a breeding program in New Zealand that aims to breed sheep that emit less methane. They found that sheep with low methane-emitting flatulence had elevated levels of Methanosphaera — a species of methanogen. Sheep with high methane-emitting flatulence had elevated levels of the methanogen Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii.

Researchers “then identified a methane-producing pathway and three variants of a gene encoding an important methane-forming reaction that were involved in elevated methane yields,” according to JGI.

“We wanted to understand why some sheep produce a lot and some produce little methane,” said JGI Director Eddy Rubin. “The study shows that it is purely the microbiota responsible for the difference.”

The publishing of the study comes as the Obama administration launches its plan to cut methane emission in its crusade against global warming. The largest man-made source of methane emissions comes from livestock, particularly cows and sheep.

Republicans have warned that regulating methane from livestock could lead to de facto taxes on animal flatulence. The Obama administration wants to reduce methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25 percent by 2020, which have lawmakers worried.

“The agriculture community is committed to environmental stewardship, which is evidenced by the 11 percent reduction in agriculture-related methane emissions since 1990,” Republicans, led by South Dakota Sen. John Thune, wrote to the Obama administration. “It is our hope that the EPA, USDA, and DOE will work with Congress and the agriculture industry to outline voluntary measures that can be taken to reduce emissions without imposing heavy-handed regulations on farms across America.”

The Environmental Protection Agency says that methane is 28 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and atmospheric levels of it have reached 1,800 parts per billion. One-fifth of methane emissions come from livestock, according to the EPA.


TOPICS: Humor
KEYWORDS: environment; epa; methane; sheep

1 posted on 06/23/2014 5:18:51 PM PDT by llevrok
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To: llevrok

Explosive news.

My tax dollars at work.


2 posted on 06/23/2014 5:19:50 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: llevrok

I wish they would do that with the politicians in Washington.


3 posted on 06/23/2014 5:20:10 PM PDT by boycott
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Now, if they could just breed the BS out of government...


4 posted on 06/23/2014 5:20:59 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo
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Obama’s “all other problems solved” dept.


5 posted on 06/23/2014 5:21:19 PM PDT by llevrok (Straight. Since 1950.)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

GM crowd won’t stomach this...

s/Genetically modified.


6 posted on 06/23/2014 5:21:28 PM PDT by alpo (What would Selco do?)
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To: boycott
Washington politicians? They need to work on their intelligence and loyalty first.
7 posted on 06/23/2014 5:22:42 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: boycott
Washington politicians? They need to work on their intelligence and loyalty first.
8 posted on 06/23/2014 5:23:00 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

“My tax dollars at work.”

At least, it gave me a good laugh. Better than 99% of the things they throw my money at.


9 posted on 06/23/2014 5:26:57 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: boycott
 photo BarrySupporters2_zps1914d449.jpg

You mean these politicians?

10 posted on 06/23/2014 5:29:28 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Feed the wacko enrviromentalists to the starving polar bears.)
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To: llevrok
The Environmental Protection Agency says that methane is 28 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and atmospheric levels of it have reached 1,800 parts per billion.

You know, I sort of thought the atmosphere smelled like sheep farts this morning.

1800 ppb = 1.8 ppm = 0.00018 %

That's right, boys and girls! 18 hundred-thousandths of a percent. Break out the gas masks.

11 posted on 06/23/2014 5:30:28 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Farmer Dean

Washington politicians? They need to work on their intelligence and loyalty first.


I mean these politicians are spewing too much gas and anything to reduce it would be helpful.


12 posted on 06/23/2014 5:31:01 PM PDT by boycott
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To: llevrok

There go the yummy lamb-chops, which will now taste like chicken!


13 posted on 06/23/2014 5:35:09 PM PDT by jacquej ("It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.")
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To: llevrok

But can they “Fly” like the ones on Monty Python or will they just ‘plummet’?


14 posted on 06/23/2014 5:36:02 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: boycott

Try some activated charcoal masks and pant liners then.


15 posted on 06/23/2014 5:36:09 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: llevrok

"Did you hear about the government program to modify sheep farts? They're trying to make them not smell as baaaad. I think that's an offal waste of taxpayer money"
16 posted on 06/23/2014 5:47:28 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: llevrok

Can we clone/replace politicians, too, but swap their mouths with another orifice?

Seriously...priorities...


17 posted on 06/23/2014 6:22:51 PM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: Pearls Before Swine

How many VA treatments did it cost.


18 posted on 06/23/2014 6:32:12 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: Pearls Before Swine

I’m glad it’s YOUR tax dollars at work. I’d be really pi$$ed if MY money were spent on such bunkum. I can rest easy this night.


19 posted on 06/23/2014 8:33:40 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: llevrok

Their flesh, of course, causes disease, but, hey, who cares as long as there’s a net saving in methane.

Everyone knows we should all long since have gone back to living in caves and picking lice so that we don’t impact the environment.


20 posted on 06/23/2014 10:11:26 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: llevrok

Forget the sheep. If they make progress with bull terriers, I’m interested.


21 posted on 06/24/2014 3:13:57 PM PDT by william clark (Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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