Today in Mad Science news...

Making cows fart like kangaroos

Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroo flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas.

"Fourteen per cent of emissions from all sources in Australia is from enteric methane from cattle and sheep," said Athol Klieve, a senior research scientist with the Queensland Government.

Researchers say the bacteria also makes the digestive process much more efficient and could potentially save millions of dollars in feed costs for farmers and graziers. "Not only would they not produce the methane, they would actually get something like 10 to 15 per cent more energy out of the feed they are eating," said Dr Klieve.

I've been wondering about this ever since I learned about fecal bacteriotherapy!

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20 Responses:

  1. ladykalessia says:

    Huh. Now if they could reverse engineer it, they could make a mint in the natural gas business.

    (Don't mind me. I just read Zodiac again.)

  2. lifelike001 says:

    or people could just stop eating meat.

    damn... thats commie talk.

  3. korgmeister says:

    Have you ever eaten Kangaroo? It's awful!

    • gths says:

      I've eaten kangaroo. More than once. It's all in the cooking.

    • nikborton says:

      Walkabout, an Australian-theme chain bar/restaurant in the UK, sell kangaroo burgers. They're nice.

      Rather than spending millions transferring bacteria between species to reduce the methane output of cows, why not spend the same money developing more efficient methane collection systems for the same cows? Okay, sticking complicated tube systems up their arses probably only adds to the inhumanity of industrial farming, but at least farmers could reduce their grid energy usage.

  4. webwench says:

    I need some of that bacteria.

    Oh shi, did I just say that?