Fattening up the chickens


first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaA University of Georgia researcher has discovered a chicken gene which, when manipulated, makes birds fatter or and thinner. However, it works only in female chickens.”The same gene exists in males, but it doesn’t do the same thing,” said Sammy Aggrey, the quantitative and molecular geneticist in the UGA poultry science department who found the growth hormone receptor gene. “Some genes work in one gender and not in another.”Identifying the growth hormone receptor gene in chickens and understanding how it works could have important implications for human research.Obesity is growing at epidemic proportions in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 44 million Americans are now obese, an increase of 74 percent since 1991.Humans and chickens are enough alike that Aggrey’s discovery and other genetic research on chickens may lead scientists to similar findings in humans.”One of the beauties of using chickens is that the research can be done quickly,” Aggrey said. “Then biomedical researchers can use it right away in their work with humans. When we find genes in chickens that act in a certain way, we expect to find the same types of genes in humans.”Aggrey said it’s wrong, though, to call the growth hormone receptor gene a “fat gene” or a “female fat gene.””Many people think that if you pinpoint a gene like this, you can simply manipulate the gene to gain or lose weight. It’s not that simple,” Aggrey said. “Behavior and the environment, non-genetic factors like nutrition and activity level, play large roles.”How can a gene express itself in females but not in males?The reasons are complex, Aggrey said. But they boil down to this: While both sexes have most genes in common, genes located on the sex chromosome differ. Often, as in humans and chickens, one gender has a single copy of that gene and the other has a double copy of it. This causes the gene to take different actions in each sex.Aggrey is also involved in a larger obesity-related study to identify and map all the genes involved in growth and fatness in broiler chickens.For this project, he works with researchers at the universities of Delaware and Maryland and the National Institute for Agricultural Research in France. The latter is an agency much like the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”It’s a huge project to identify and characterize that many genes,” he said. “Last year we discovered spot 14, which is one gene for fatness.” Spot 14 has since been shown to be connected to obesity in humans and mice.(Cat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Allam proud of promoted Tigers


first_imgHull chairman Assem Allam feels the club can be proud of what they have achieved since he took over two years ago, having moved out of administration to securing promotion to the Barclays Premier League. The Tigers did it the hard way, grinding out a 2-2 draw against npower Championship title winners Cardiff and then having to wait around for Watford’s delayed match against Leeds to finish. But when news filtered through of a late winner for Leeds at Vicarage Road, the celebrations began in earnest at the KC Stadium with Allam and manager Steve Bruce leading the way. “It was fantastic, one of the proudest days of my life,” the Egyptian told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme. Press Associationcenter_img “It was very stressful but at the same time, when we had four or five minutes left, Watford needed to score two goals to be promoted so that gave us a bit of comfort.” City return to the top flight after a three-year absence and Allam revealed it has come at a personal cost, but one he feels was necessary. “Not only has the club been promoted but we’ve come through administration,” he said. “I bought the club in December 2010 four days before the winding up, so it was a case of saving the club, And in two and a half years of my ownership, we’ve gone from what would have been bankruptcy to the Premier League. “To save the club from bankruptcy is what I call dead money, money I would have saved by waiting four days to buy the club from the receivers. “I would have saved £27million in money owed to the taxman, who enforced the winding-up order, and two banks. “But then the club would have lost 10 points, they would have been relegated and this would have cost more and I didn’t want this, for the community to be deprived of good quality football. So I signed a contract knowing that I’m throwing away £27million for the sake of staying in the Championship.” last_img read more

Woodlawn Invitational scheduled for June 14-18


first_imgELLSWORTH — This year’s edition of the Woodlawn Invitational, one of the state’s largest and most prestigious croquet tournaments, is scheduled to be held June 14-18 at Ellsworth’s Woodlawn Museum.The tournament will be open to all members of the United States Croquet Association. It will begin with a practice session and an opening reception and dinner in the afternoon and evening of June 14.Play begins June 15 and ends with the championship round June 18. Winnersin each flight will have their names engraved on the championship trophy, which is displayed year-round at the museum. The top-three finishers in each flight will also be awarded individual trophies for their outstanding achievements.Tournament play begins around 8 a.m. each day and lasts approximately eight hours. Admittance for spectators is free.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textFor more information, contact Tournament Manager Perry Mattson at 667-9335 or go online to www.WoodlawnMuseum.org.last_img read more