Wednesday, October 3, 2012

GMO Cow Produces Hypo-Allergenic Milk - October 2nd, 2012

AgResearch scientists have bred Daisy, the first cow in the world to produce high protein milk that may be hypo-allergenic.

AgResearch scientists who may have produced a world-first in genetic modification - the possibility of hypo-allergenic cow's milk - want New Zealand to benefit from their findings.

While some scientists have hailed the discovery as a breakthrough, anti-GM groups have called early results taken from a genetically modified cow as a worrying development.

Its developers have been cautious not to speculate over the research's commercial potential, describing it only as a science discovery whose applications could be several years away from being understood.

The team had sought to find if they could produce milk which contained less beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) - a milk whey protein known to be allergenic.

A large proportion of the 2 to 3 per cent of infants who were allergic to cow's milk had a BLG intolerance, said Dr Stefan Wagner, one of the paper's lead authors.

The scientists first tested the process in a mouse model engineered to produce the sheep form of BLG protein in mouse milk. Using a technique called RNA interference, two microRNAs were then introduced into the mouse to knock down the expression of the sheep BLG protein - resulting in a 96 per cent reduction in the sheep BLG protein in mouse milk.

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