Got Insulin- Containing Milk?

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By: Linda von Wartburg

Scientists in the cattle-raising country of Argentina have cloned four calves that will produce human insulin in their milk when they grow up.

The biotechnology company Bio Sidus started with a cow fetus from a slaughterhouse, removed certain cells from it, and then inserted the human insulin gene into each cell nucleus.  Next, they took the genetically modified nuclei and fused them into cattle eggs. They then started the cloning process, so that the eggs began dividing, and they put the resulting little embryos into four surrogate mother cows. The end product: four calves that should produce insulin-containing milk.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get your insulin dose by drinking the milk.  Instead, the scientists plan to filter out the insulin, which they expect to be at least thirty percent cheaper than insulin produced with current methods. Reportedly, a mere 25 cows could produce enough insulin for all of Argentina’s 1.5 million people with diabetes. The company hopes to have their milk-derived insulin on the market within the next couple of years.

Source: Reuters

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