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Chinese cows producing human breast milk?


Chinese scientists have produced a genetically modified cow that produces milk which could be a substitute for human breast milk. The Chinese have been jolted by several tainted powder milk or formula scares in the past and this could be an imaginative and innovative way of avoiding future panic.

Researchers introduced human genetic coding into the DNA of Holstein dairy cow embryos then transferred those embryos to new cows. In 2003 they developed the first cow that created milk with nutritional properties the same as human breast milk. Apparently the taste is stronger and sweeter.

“The genetically modified cow milk is 80% the same as human breast milk,” said Li Ning, a professor and the project’s director as well as lead researcher. “Our modified cow milk contains several major properties of human milk, in particular proteins and antibodies which we believe are good for our health and able to improve our immune system.”

The family of cows is expanding. The herd is now up to 300 with new babies being born all the time.

The team is being backed by a Chinese biotech company that wants to put the product on the market within three years.

In 2008, six children died and 300,000 became ill from drinking powdered milk laced with melamine, a chemical used to in poor quality products to give false readings to inspectors. The melamine makes the powdered milk test as though it has more proteins than required by law.

Source: Reuters


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