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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News
 

 

October 2 - Scientists create GM cow to cut milk allergies in children

Article: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

Scientists have created a genetically modified (GM) cow that produces milk with low levels of a protein known to cause allergic reactions in a significant proportion of children. The researchers believe it could one day lead to the sale of "hypoallergenic" milk from herds of GM cows.
The calf had been cloned and genetically engineered with an extra piece of genetic material that switched off its natural gene for producing a milk protein called beta-lactoglobulin, which is not present in human milk and causes allergies in some young children.

Tests on the cow's milk showed that it contained less than 2 per cent of normal levels of beta-lactoglobulin and was far richer than usual in other kinds of milk proteins, such as the caseins used in cheese-making. The researchers also believe the GM cow's milk will also contain higher concentrations of calcium than ordinary milk.

The cow, however, was born without a tail which is a rare congenital abnormality. The scientists believe this was a result of the cloning process, similar to that used to create Dolly the cloned sheep, rather than the GM technique used to eliminate the milk protein.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is one of the first examples of the RNAi technique being used to create farm livestock with novel traits. Other scientists are working on ways of using RNAi to create new strains of domestic animals that have a natural immunity to viruses and infections.

 
 

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