In this new case, researchers were able to take out a purebred developing embryo, wash it clean of disease and implant it into a surrogate commercial buffalo.
Unlike the Yellowstone cows, this cow can go wherever veterinarians want to take it. In this case, it was shipped off to the Bronx.
Last fall, Colorado State University reproductive physiologist Dr. Jennifer Barfield and her team took a purebred embryo from a Yellowstone bison cow that lives at an animal health research center in Fort Collins, Colo. …Barfield was able to “wash” it so it could not spread diseases like brucellosis, which causes bison to spontaneously miscarry their young. …After it was deemed clean, Barfield and colleagues implanted it non-surgically into a healthy female buffalo, one with ancestral cattle genes. Then the surrogate mother cow was sent the Bronx Zoo, which has been trying for years to establish a breeding bison herd.
The baby male buffalo was born there June 20, but the Bronx Zoo and CSU just announced its birth today, after ensuring it was healthy and normal. “This illustrates that we can engineer breeding of pure-bred bison to be disease-free despite the diseases that can afflict the bison population at Yellowstone,” Barfield said. It is also a model for mitigating diseases in other types of animals, the team said.