Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medicine From Milk: Gene Therapy Could Transform Goats Into Pharmaceutical Factories

Date:
February 1, 2008
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Gene therapy has been used successfully to breed large animals capable of producing therapeutic proteins in their milk, such as insulin or those that fight cancer. This represents a significant milestone, as previous methods involved cloning, which takes more time and generally costs more. This new research should reduce the cost and increase the availability of several drugs.

Researchers have used gene therapy to reduce the time it takes to breed goats capable of producing therapeutic proteins in their milk, such as insulin or those that fight cancer.
Credit: iStockphoto

University of Pennsylvania researchers have used gene therapy to reduce the time it takes to breed large animals capable of producing therapeutic proteins in their milk, such as insulin or those that fight cancer. This represents a significant milestone in drug development, as current methods involve cloning, which takes more time and generally costs more.

Related Articles


"Having an easier way to harness nature's power to produce large quantities of specific proteins in milk could increase the availability of drugs for people who could otherwise not afford these treatments," said Ina Dobrinski, one of the researchers on the study.

The study also is significant because it may also be a new way to eliminate diseases in future generations of animals, such as those used for livestock. Here's why: To get the goats to produce specific proteins, the researchers used radiation to kill a portion of a male goat's germ cells (the cells that produce sperm). Then they used a modified adeno-associated virus (a well studied and tolerated gene therapy vector) to insert a gene in the remaining cells. Once the new gene took hold in the germ cells, a predictable number of offspring carried the gene necessary to produce the desired protein in their milk.

The advance is immediately valuable for pharmaceutical development and biology research, but a similar approach could be used to bolster the food supply by eliminating genetic disorders in animals over several generations. It is also possible that once perfected, this technique could eliminate disease genes in humans over several generations, assuming ethical concerns can be resolved adequately.

This study is published in the February 2008 print edition of The FASEB Journal.

"For thousands of years, people have domesticated cows and goats to make milk, butter and cheese. And for thousands of years dairy products have been used as folk remedies for practically every human illness. Most have been completely ineffective." said Gerald Weissmann, MD, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal. "So it is reassuring that modern science would find a way to use the milk we drink to yield of drugs that actually work."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Medicine From Milk: Gene Therapy Could Transform Goats Into Pharmaceutical Factories." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131082224.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2008, February 1). Medicine From Milk: Gene Therapy Could Transform Goats Into Pharmaceutical Factories. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131082224.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Medicine From Milk: Gene Therapy Could Transform Goats Into Pharmaceutical Factories." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131082224.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins