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 November 28, 2014 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 November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
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