Genetically modified cows produce hypoallergenic milk

Infants with milk allergies could have an alternative to formula after scientists created a genetically modified cow that produced hypoallergenic milk.

A team of researchers from New Zealand engineered the cow so that its milk would be almost entirely free of beta-lactuglobin, a protein which causes allergies in young children.

Tests on the milk revealed that it contained 96 per cent less beta-lactuglobin than normal, but higher levels of other proteins which meant its nutritional content was not diminished.

Engineering cows to produce hypoallergenic milk could benefit the two to three per cent of children who are allergic to dairy milk in their first year of life, experts said.

Allergic reactions to proteins in cows’ milk can cause a variety of symptoms including eczema, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Children usually grow out of the condition before they reach school age, but in rare cases it can persist into adulthood…

Prof Bruce Whitelaw, Professor of Animal Biotechnology at Edinburgh University, who was not involved in the study, added: “This is notable since it represents one of the few RNA interference success stories in mammals and offers a good example of how these technologies can be used to provide alternative strategies to current manufacturing process.

Time will tell how widely applicable RNA interference will be in GM livestock – but this is certainly a milestone study in this field.”

The range of processes which can be genetically-altered to produce anything from less expensive sources of medical treatment up to and including replacement organs is beginning to reach pilot stage in research around the globe. Soon enough testing will evolve to determine which are long-term successes.

The usual conflicts between public good and private profit will be guaranteed – as will be the odd outburst of religious peristalsis from folks who still fear science more than superstition. Eventually, we will benefit as a species.

See – I told you. Cynic and optimist. We can get all this shit done – just not in my lifetime.

8 thoughts on “Genetically modified cows produce hypoallergenic milk

  1. trixfred30 says:

    Seriously would a parent feed an infant genetically modified milk? My sister was allergic to cows milk so Mum fed her goats milk. She came out of it okay, if a little Gruff (haha)

    • moss says:

      Science 101. Show me negative results from changing to a protein that doesn’t harm kids with allergies – and I’d agree with you.

      I live in a cattle-raising state and have choices in beef (for example) that range from organic to free range – which is most of them – to guaranteed antibiotic free. Any of these as cloned descent or not.

      I’ll gladly cook you a hamburger from either and ask you to choose which is which. I’d gladly have you pick the scientist of your choice and dare him to point out the difference between either. Cloning deals with the same processes as other aspects of GM.

      Genetic mods have been around for decades and because scientists are better able to pick and choose what those choices do doesn’t lessen requirements for producing a healthy product. Not that our pols do the greatest job overseeing that responsobility. But, I’ll stick with science every time. Being able to produce less expensive medication – done with GM goats, incidentally – to fight child-killers is as admirable and will make 3rd World kids better able to survive. This cow’s milk helps, too.

      Now – I just read that last and will suggest it to Eid, 🙂

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