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October 8, 2007

UK scientists plan to create human-cow embryos

This is not exactly food, but the technology is pretty much the same as the technology for cloning animals that would be used for food.  The following is from a BBC News article by Fergus Walsh:

UK scientists have applied for permission to create embryos by fusing human DNA with cow eggs. . . .The hybrid human-bovine embryos would be used for stem cell research and would not be allowed to develop for more than a few days.

Stem cells are the body's master cells and five-day-old embryos are packed with them - each with the potential to turn into any tissue in the body.

It is this ability which scientists want to harness to treat diseases such as Parkinson's Disease, strokes and Alzheimer's Disease.

To do that, they say they need to have access to thousands of embryos for research.

Short supply

The problem is that human eggs for research are in short supply and to obtain them women have to undergo surgery.

That is why scientists want to use cows' eggs as a substitute.

They would insert human DNA into a cow's egg which has had its genetic material removed, and then create an embryo by the same technique that produced Dolly the Sheep.

The resulting embryo would be 99.9% human; the only bovine element would be DNA outside the nucleus of the cell.

Read the rest of the article

Maybe the  George the singing cow Ben and Jerry'sisn't so far off the mark. 

Other singing cows: PETA anti-leather commercial

October 8, 2007 in Biotech, Cloning | Permalink


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