RSS

English Reading

A baby having milk from a bottle.

Image via Wikipedia

Read the story first, then take a look at the vocabulary notes at the bottom if you need to.

Genetically modified dairy cows produce human milk

A team from the China Agricultural University is reporting success after transferring human genes into a herd of 300 dairy cows. The cows now produce milk containing proteins associated with human breast milk.

Human milk is beneficial to infants due to its high nutrient concentration. Formula milk offers an alternative to breastfeeding, but critics feel it is inferior and the research team hopes genetically modified cows could provide a solution. “Within 10 years, people will be able to pick up these products at the supermarket,” claims Professor Ning Li, research leader and head of the university’s State Key Laboratory for AgroBiotechnology. “We aim to commercialise some research in this area in the next three years.”

The new research, published in the journal Public Library of Science One, named three human proteins present in the cows’ milk. Lysozyme protects babies from bacteria, lactoferrin boosts the cells in an infant’s immune system and alpha-lactalbumin was also present. All are found in human breast milk.

“Our study describes transgenic cattle whose milk offers the similar nutritional benefits as human milk,” Li wrote in the journal. “The modified bovine milk is a possible substitute for human milk.” The cows are otherwise identical to normal cows and were produced by introducing the genes to cloned embryos, which were then reared by surrogate mothers.

The laws surrounding genetically modified food research are tighter in Europe than China, but similar products have been sold legally in the United States for years. European consumers often avoid genetically modified foods, and therefore some supermarkets avoid stocking them.

European campaigners are concerned about food safety and animal welfare; the Chinese team performed two studies on a total of 42 transgenic calves. Ten died soon after birth and six more did not survive beyond six months. It is not fully understood why survival and development is affected by cloning, which is used in the genetic modification process, but researchers concede it does happen.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a UK organisation, said it is “extremely concerned” by the development. A spokesperson for the organisation said: “Offspring of cloned animals often suffer health and welfare problems, so this would be a grave concern. Why do we need this milk — what is it giving us that we haven’t already got?”

A University of Nottingham professor specializing in genetic modification, Keith Campbell, rejected food safety concerns. “Genetically modified animals and plants are not going to be harmful unless you deliberately put in a gene that is going to be poisonous,” he said. “Why would anyone do that in a food?” The Chinese team says cow welfare will be improved as they will be better able to fight udder infection with human proteins.

This is Me...

This is Me…

English Vocabulary Notes
herd = collection of cows
infants = babies
formula milk = powdered milk produced for babies
boosts = improves / promotes
reared = brought up, looked after
surrogate = replacement
stocking = selling
calves = baby cows
offspring = children
grave = serious
udder = the part of a cow that gives milk
Story Source: Wikinews
 

One response to “English Reading

  1. Nella Fugueroa

    February 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Spot on using this write-up, I seriously truly feel this website needs considerably more attention. I am going to most likely be back again again to go through far more, thanks for the info!br /BR Removal Servicesbr /27a Jade Close Unit 2br /Londonbr /E16 3TYbr /United Kingdombr /0800 001 6111

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: