Comparison of the Physicochemical Properties of a Urinary Pigment of Human and Bovine Origin


A GENETICALLY determined syndrome has been described in the Holstein-Friesian strain of cattle which causes the calf to die in hypoglycaemia soon after birth. Affected calves of this strain are carried as many as 90 days beyond the normal 280 days of gestation. The genetic defect appears when the calf is homozygous for the trait. Both the heterozygous cow and bull are capable of generating a normal progeny if crossed with a non-affected animal; and the cow is capable of normal-length pregnancy if it does not carry a homozygous, affected calf. Holm1 has reported that during an affected pregnancy the urine of these cows lacks a magenta pigment that can normally be detected in organic solvent extracts of hydrolysates of urines of non-affected cows. These findings are reported to be consistent enough to be used for the screening of the pregnant cows to detect those that carry an affected foetus.

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ORTI, E., BAKER, R. & LANMAN, J. Comparison of the Physicochemical Properties of a Urinary Pigment of Human and Bovine Origin. Nature 207, 1206–1207 (1965).

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