The Atlantic

The FDA Wants to Regulate Gene-Editing That Makes Cows Less Horny

What happens when new technology meets old laws
Source: Pascal Rossignol / Reuters

Dairy cows grow horns. But dairy cows in the U.S. rarely have horns because they are seared, cut, or chemically burned off in a process that is as painful as it sounds. When Scott Fahrenkrug, then an animal scientist at the University of Minnesota, learned about dehorning, he decided to apply his genetics expertise to creating a hornless dairy cow. And he left academia job to co-found a company, Recombinetics.

Fahrenkrug and his team ended up using a relatively new gene-editing technique called TALENs. They took a hornless gene from a breed

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic3 min readSociety
Read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Testimony on Reparations
“The question really is not whether we’ll be tied to the somethings of our past, but whether we are courageous enough to be tied to the whole of them.”
The Atlantic4 min readPsychology
Legal Abortion Isn’t the Problem to Be Solved
The real problem is that families are primed to see a fetal anomaly as a catastrophe in waiting.
The Atlantic7 min readSociety
Everyone Wants to Talk About Reparations. But for How Long?
The issue makes the occasional blip in the national conversation. Yet in communities that have been fighting inequality for generations, it is more like the steady thumping of a drum.