Pairing a new approach to prepare ancient DNA with a new scientific technique developed specifically to genotype a cow, a University of Missouri animal scientist, along with a team of international researchers, created a very accurate and widespread "family tree" for cows and other ruminants, going back as far as 29 million years.

This genetic information could allow scientists to understand the evolution of cattle, ruminants and other animals. This same technique also could be used to help farmers develop healthier and more efficient cattle, and assist scientists who are studying human diseases, according to the research, which is being published in this week's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Source: ScienceDaily