Tag Archives | Genetic Modification

First Therapy Approved That Corrects Errors In A Person’s Genetic Code

The day is approaching in which we will be GMOs. KurzweilAI recently reported:

European regulators have approved the first therapy in the western world that can correct errors in a person’s genetic code, according to Amsterdam-based uniQure.

Europe has approved Glybera for treatment of Lipoprotein Lipase Deficiency, a rare, inherited disease. Patients with LPLD are unable to metabolize the fat particles carried in their blood, which leads to inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Glybera introduces a normal, healthy LPL gene into the body so that it can make functional LPL protein.

Glybera will be available in the second half of 2013, according Glybera will be available in the second half of 2013, according to uniQure, which is preparing to apply for regulatory approval in the U.S., Canada, and other markets.

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Scientists Create Supersoldier Ants

One has to ask: can anything good come out of this? Via PhysOrg:

There are over 1100 species of Pheidole genus ants, and most individual ants belong to either the worker or soldier caste. In only eight of the Pheidole species, some individuals can belong to a “supersoldier” subcaste instead, and these ants fight off predatory army ant species and bar their way by blocking off the entrances to the nest using their over-sized heads. Now, scientists have managed to create supersoldiers in other species by reactivating ancestral genes.

supersoldier ant

The international team of scientists, led by Dr Ehab Abouheif of the Department of Biology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, looked at the genomes of two ant species that produce supersoldiers. They identified the genetics behind the supersoldier caste and were able to activate the genes by treating ant larvae with methoprene, a growth hormone. As expected, the ant larvae became supersoldiers.

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Genetically Modified Cows Produce Milk Similar To Humans

DairyCowWill cows be feeding our newborns in the future? Genetically modified cows are now producing milk with similar properties of breast milk. Popular Science reports:

In a potential new step for genetically modified food, babies could someday drink human-like milk derived from herds of genetically modified dairy cows, which scientists say could supplement breast milk and replace baby formula.

Scientists have created 300 cows that produce milk with some of the properties of human breast milk, including lysozyme, which fights bacteria and improves infants’ immune systems in their first few days of life.

Researchers in China introduced genes that express human lysozyme (also called HLZ) and other human proteins into Holstein cattle embryos, and implanted the embryos into surrogate cows. When the GM cows started lactating, their milk contained HLZ and two other proteins.

Using a new purification process, the researchers were apparently able to make the milk taste more human — they increased its fat content and changed the amounts of milk solids, according to the Telegraph.

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Churkey: The Neck Of A Turkey And The Body Of A Chicken

Erdelyi_fekete_kopasznyakuThe Churkey, also known as a turken or naked neck chicken, has a unique genetic modification which gives the bird its unusual look. Scientists believe this species could help in understanding the evolutionary progression of such birds as the vulture. Also, with it’s featherless neck, the bird proves potential for underdeveloped countries in hot climates. BBC reports:

The “churkey” owes its distinctive look to a complex genetic mutation, according to scientists.

Experts at Edinburgh University set out to discover how the Transylvanian naked neck chicken came by its appearance.

The bird, which has also been dubbed the turken, has the neck of a turkey and the body of a chicken.

The scientists said the effects of the genetic mutation were enhanced by a vitamin A-derived substance produced around the bird’s neck.

This causes a protein, BMP12, to be produced, suppressing feather growth and causing the bird to have its bald neck, according to researchers at the Roslin Institute at Edinburgh University.

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