Scientists come up with an idea to infect cows with kangaroo fecal microbes to combat warming
Cows may start producing less methane when transplanted with microbes from kangaroo feces. It is reported by the University of Washington .
Methane is the second largest source of greenhouse gases and heats the atmosphere about 30 times more than carbon dioxide. More than half of the methane emitted to the atmosphere is believed to come from the agricultural sector, with ruminants such as cattle and goats making the largest contribution. In addition, the process of producing methane requires up to 10% of the energy of the animal and does not benefit him – cows simply burp it or pass it out with intestinal gases.
American scientists decided to find out what can replace these bacteria without harm to cows. They conducted their research on an artificial bovine rumen simulant loaded with food and digestive agents. In the end, it turned out that the cubs of kangaroos in the foregut have bacteria that produce acetic acid, not methane. Unable to isolate specific bacteria that can produce acetic acid, the researchers used a stable mixed culture derived from baby kangaroo feces.
By gradually reducing the proportion of methane-producing bacteria in their reactor with a special chemical, the scientists were able to replace them with acetic acid bacteria for several months. Unlike methane, acetic acid is good for cows as it promotes muscle growth. Now the authors hope to test their idea on live cows.
Previously, Russian scientists have developed a device to capture the sounds of swarming bees in apiaries.