Recently, researchers from the United States and around the world revealed the most complete sequence of the cattle genome to date. The new sequence contains 2.9 billion DNA base pairs and incorporates 33 percent more data than earlier versions.

So, what does it mean? Researchers now have the tools to see how variations in DNA influence desirable — and undesirable — production and health traits. Some believe the data will enable the dairy and beef industries to achieve as much improvement in breeding and production during the next 50 years as has been accomplished in thousands of years using traditional methods