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Helpful Cows Roundup

June 15, 2007

Some dairy cows naturally make skim milk, and manure could be a source of ethanol.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Skim milk straight from the cow. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A study of dairy cows in New Zealand has turned up some that naturally produce low-fat milk. Researchers plan to breed them in hopes of creating entire herds that produce skim milk without any processing. They also found one cow whose milk can produce a butter that’s spreadable right from the fridge and low in saturated fat- a finding that will no doubt lead to the product "I Can’t Believe It IS Butter."

In other cow news, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station scientists are promoting cow manure as a source of ethanol for use in clean-burning fuels. An experimental plant is already converting the manure to fuel. But they’re having trouble getting reliable sources of clean manure, uncontaminated with dirt. They’re goal is to convince farmers to view cow manure as a valuable resource, rather than something to just clean out of pens. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.