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Published on May 1, 2021

Human and animal health intertwined

Do you know the phrase: ‘You are what you eat’? Within many countries, cultures and languages you have phrases that tie eating habits to health. And truth be told, what you eat affects your health. Your eating choices also impact the health of our planet, and indirectly, the health of animals. As an animal genetics company, we want to see the opportunities to point out the link between human and animal health. What opportunities lie ahead to improve global health?

One global health

Exploring global health is a fascinating field with many angles to research. As we all are bound to this one planet, we share the same ecosystems we live in. Humans, animals and the environment are in a delicate balance. While looking for optimizations to achieve better health outcomes for people, animals and the planet we must collaborate, leaving boundaries, boarders and differences aside.

Let’s engage and start by designing and implementing programs, policies, and good practices along the way and research what is the next sustainable step.

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Improving on food supply and safety

With a growing world population food supply and safety is a worldwide concern. People need a variety of foods in order to maintain a healthy body. A healthy diet consists of macro- (carbs, fibers, fats and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Working together, both macro and micronutrients provide your body with what it needs. Protein is a macro nutrient that is an important part of the human diet. This is especially important for vulnerable populations including children and the elderly.

We provide the growing world population with animal protein. By giving worldwide access to healthy animal protein, this improves the overall health of our population. Especially for developing regions where there are barriers to accessing to healthy food, protein availability can be a big part of improving overall human health. With genetic progress we can help steer the output towards more efficiency within the animal protein sector, contributing to a safer and consistent supply.

Better control zoonoses

When you share your living quarters with others, bacteria share them with you too. Many bacteria infect animals and humans. When they pass on diseases across species, they are called zoonoses. These diseases affect our way of life. COVID-19 recently showed the entire world this basic fact. In order to better control this and have a healthier environment, we must combine our efforts. Studying diseases and prevention methods in animal health could provide some insights for human health.

Research on influenza viruses circulating in animals is crucial for the selection of viruses for human vaccines for potential influenza pandemics. Which are hovering over us each new flu season. This cross-species research is necessary and the prevention and control of diseases are becoming more important as our world population grows. An intertwined well-coordinated global approach is required.

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Research projects to improve antibiotic free production

Are you interested in antibiotic free production, now and in the future? The subjects below are potential areas of opportunity.

  • Immune profiling and determining genetic parameters
  • Evaluating the usefulness of immune measurements for predictions on performance and resilience in health challenged environments
  • Developing genomic predictors that are genetically correlated with performance and resilience.
  • Developing and evaluating strategies for incorporation of disease resilience into animal genetic improvement programs
  • Develop and validate more sophisticated immune response tests that could be incorporated into future genetic and genomic selection

Within a well-functioning ecosystem, all elements are in balance. Sustainable animal breeding and genetic progress is one of the small stepping stone we can provide to improve on a healthier environment. We believe that human and animal health are connected. By working together to study, detect, and address health challenges, we can create a healthier world for us all.

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