December 5, 2008

Scientists predetermine gender of foals

Researchers at Italy's Bologna University say they've found a way to choose the gender of foals using frozen sperm and egg cells.

The university's veterinary department said two foals, named Mario and Maria, resulted from the world's first successful procedure to choose the sex of horse embryos.

Horse breeders have pushed for the scientific breakthrough because of the considerable difference in the financial value of male and female horses, the Italian news service ANSA said Friday.

The report said the value of a male thoroughbred can be four or five times that of a female.