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Brazilian Researchers Modify Goat Genes in Order to Produce Milk That Is "Human-Like"

01/12/2018 - 10h55

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GABRIEL BOSA
MARIANA BANANAL
FROM SÃO PAULO

Brazilian researchers at Unifor (University of Fortaleza) managed to create genetically modified goats in order to produce milk with human-like characteristics.

Their goal is to supplement goat milk with two proteins found in breast milk - lysozyme and lactoferrin - which act as natural immunoprotectors for babies who can't be fed by their mothers, against gastrointestinal diseases.

The researchers went with goat milk over cow milk because it has fewer allergenic compounds.

The transgenic goats were created using a relatively new technological tool called "Crispr" (pronounced "crisper"), a type of molecular pair of scissors that enables scientists to edit genes with considerable precision.

The proteins found in breast milk that were used for the study act as natural antibiotics which help strengthen the immune system. The immune systems of children who don't ingest these proteins are less resistant.

The study was conducted by Luciana Bertolini, who earned her PhD in genetics at the University of California, and her husband, Marcelo Bertolini, a veterinarian who earned his PhD in physiology at the same university as his wife. Two tests with animals have already been conducted.

"In Brazil, we induced a state of malnutrition in mice, and the ones that ingested lysozyme managed to recover more fully than the ones that didn't."

Optimistic results were also obtained in an experiment in the US in partnership with the University of California, in which rodents were replaced with pigs that were 3 weeks old or younger.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Divulgação
Brazilian researchers managed to create genetically modified goats in order to produce milk with human-like characteristics
Brazilian researchers managed to create genetically modified goats in order to produce milk with human-like characteristics

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