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Blog Society 25 September 2017
Joost Lagerweij / EyeEm / Getty Images

The PLOS Genetics Research Prize was awarded to a group of UK scientists this year thanks to their ground breaking research into the genetic link between animals’ digestive tracts and the methane they produce.

The project was able to draw a link between the microbial community found in the digestive tract of host animals and the amount of methane they produce. This holds the potential to reduce methane produced by cattle and other livestock that currently represent a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions.

In the face of growing demand for meat, the world is crying out for a more climate-friendly solution. This just might be what we’ve been looking for

By exploring the interactions between an animal’s genetic background, its diet and the composition of it’s microbial community, the research team was able to identify microbial profiles that can be used to identify cattle that can use their feed more efficiently while emitting less methane. This is hopefully the first major step toward the breeding of low emission cattle.

The winning team was made up of researcher from Scotland’s Rural College, The University of Edinburgh and The University of Aberdeen. The highly esteemed PLOS Genetics Research Prize is worth $5,000, and is awarded based on both scientific merit and the community impact of the research.

You can read the award winning article published in PLOS Genetics here.

Blog The Future 22 September 2017

What’s your favourite science book?
Cosmos Magazine

There are some books that make a profound impact on the reader – sometimes because they stun with fresh research, beguile with sophisticated analysis, or simply induce gales of laughter.

Here at Cosmos we’re keen to find out which science or tech themed book, if push comes to shove, you would nominate as your all-time favourite. Perhaps it’s Pliny’s Natural History, or Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, or Lisa Randall’s Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs … Your choice can come from any century, on any science subject.

Let us know the title and author and tell us in 100 words why it deserves the accolade.

And because sharing information and sharing the love are sometimes synonymous, we want to publish the best and brightest nominations in both our print and online editions. We’d love to know your thoughts – and we’re betting that we’re going to be happily surprised by the breadth, depth and sheer good taste of the Cosmos readership.

Fill out the form below and let’s get this conversation going!

Tell us your favourite science book!