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Animals engineered with pinpoint accuracy

Animals engineered with pinpoint accuracy

More accurate genetic modification has created allergen-free cow's milk and pigs that could serve as a model for atherosclerosis.

Amy Maxmen
02 October 2012

Two genetically engineered farm animals reported today illustrate how far from Frankenstein’s stitched-together monster animal biotechnology has come. One of those animals, a cow, secretes milk that lacks an allergy-inducing protein because researchers accurately blocked its production using the technique of RNA interference1. And in pigs, scientists have used an enzyme called a TALEN2 to scramble a gene that would normally help remove cholesterol.

RNA interference (RNAi) and TALENs are more accurate at targeting the gene in question than are earlier genetic engineering techniques. For years, researchers tried to remove the allergy-inducing milk protein beta-lactoglobulin from cow's milk, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting in some toddlers. They tried replacing the gene encoding beta-lactoglobulin with a defective form, but this proved nearly impossible because the techniques available to introduce foreign genes into animal genomes were not precise, and misplaced genes failed to express themselves correctly.

Read more: http://www.nature.com/news/animals-engineered-with-pinpoint-...

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Great! Can I 3-D print myself a cat? Abyssinian shorthair, plz.

Great! Does that mean I can go 3-D print myself a cat? I'd like an Abyssinian shorthair to go, please!

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"