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Improving genetics: Embryo transfers allow more selective cattle breeding

BUFFALO - Michael Rea focused the lens of his microscope, scanning each section of a small dish, sifting through specks and smudges, looking for something. Behind him, Brent and Stephanie Painter monitored his progress on a small, black tablet. The garage was quiet, other than the sound of the wind.

Rea shifted in his seat.

"It's not looking good," he said to the Painters.

They were looking for embryos, and it wasn't going well.

The Painters had hired Rea to extract as many embryos as he could from a promising young heifer. If all went according to plan, they would transfer the embryos to comm...