Press Esc to close
Tuesday 28 March 2017
News updated at 5:26 PM IST

GM cow produces non-allergic milk

Kalyan Ray, October 1, 2012, New Delhi:
In what could be a good news for several Indian children who avoided cow’s milk for its allergic effects, scientists have now engineered a genetically modified cow that could produce milk without its allergy-causing component.

Milk from the GM calf is rich in casein that increases calcium levels, while dairy industry could find the high cheese yields commercially beneficial.

Casein is milk's main protein, which is responsible for its goodness.

A team of researchers in New Zealand created the genetically engineered female calf that would produce milk containing high levels of protein and a dramatic reduction in the levels of beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) -- a whey component known to cause allergic reactions in human -- compared with non-engineered calves.

BLG is dispensable for milk without greatly altering its properties.

“The same milk quality (or even close to it) can not be achieved through conventional hybrid cows,” Warren McNabb, director of research at AgResearch, a biotech company in New Zealand, told Deccan Herald.

The ten-month old calf, which was born without a tail, was artificially induced to produce milk. scientists are now waiting for the natural lactation cycle to see if it produces high casein and low BLG milk naturally.

Published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, the study demonstrate how tweaking genetic make-up of cattle can be an effective strategy for altering milk composition and other livestock traits.

The strategy adopted is known as RNA interference which moderates the activity of genes responsible for producing the whey protein.

The scientists claim it is better than completely knocking out the BLG gene or taking recourse to processing technologies to reduce the BLG level.

“We generate a transgenic calf whose milk contained no detectable BLG and more than twice the amount of casein milk protein,” the team comprising researchers from AgResearch and University of Waikato reported.

Even though there is no systemic study to know the extent of milk allergy prevalence in India, a 2009 study carried out on children in a Lucknow hospital found that cow milk intolerance was not uncommon in India.

The team found 40 cases of milk intolerance among children who were admitted with chronic diarrhoea between June 2004 and December 2007.

Milk were successfully restarted only on 25 children after keeping them on milk free diet for 15 months, according to the study published in the Journal of Gastoenterology and Hepatology in October, 2009.

Scientists first tested the process in a mouse model engineered to mimic the mammary gland of a sheep, which resulted in a 96 per cent reduction of BLG.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

An ASHA worker holding the newborn baby girl, who was found buried-alive in a manure heap...

An ASHA worker holding the newborn baby girl, who was found buried-alive in a manure heap...

Preparations underway for the “Namami Brahmaputra” festival in Guwahati on Monday....

Preparations underway for the “Namami Brahmaputra” festival in Guwahati on Monday....

Tourists enjoying photography at Badamwari (Almond Alcove) in Srinagar on Monday. The almond trees..

Tourists enjoying photography at Badamwari (Almond Alcove) in Srinagar on Monday. The almond trees..

Nepalese army soldiers demonstrate their horse riding skills during the Ghode Jatra festival...

Nepalese army soldiers demonstrate their horse riding skills during the Ghode Jatra festival...

A group of devotees arrive to participate in the annual Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer...

A group of devotees arrive to participate in the annual Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523