Will 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.