January 2, 2007

Will there be no more "natural" anything?

Why is it that MAN thinks he can outsmart God and nature? Not everything in nature lives because if everything lived the earth would become over populated.

Cattle engineered to lack BSE-causing proteins
By Tom Johnston on 1/2/2007 for Meatingplace.com

An international team of researchers from the United States and Japan has genetically engineered several cattle to be free from prions, the proteins associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The findings, published in the online journal Nature Biotechnology, are leading to speculation that it may be possible to make animals immune to the disease.

In a post-mortem study, research results showed that after scientists "knocked out" the gene responsible for making prions, animals did not succumb to BSE when exposed to the bad prions associated with the disease. However, it may be a few years before other animals in the study demonstrate similar immunity to BSE.

"This could have some promising applications," Joe Schuele, spokesman for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, told Meatingplace.com today. "However, the safeguards we have in place in the United States have eliminated BSE as a human health risk, and should have us on track to completely eradicate BSE well before this technology will be approved for any widespread practical use."

Paul Clayton, senior vice president of export services at the U.S. Meat Export Federation, told Meatingplace.com today that it's too early to tell how the study would affect access to foreign markets, since any commercial applications of the research presumably lie in the distant future.

"Also, since this is biotechnology, we may encounter other access concerns," he said.

"These cattle can help in the exploration and improved understanding of how prions function and cause disease, especially with relation to bovine spongiform encephalopathy," Edward B. Knipling, administrator of USDA's Agricultural Research Service, indicated in a press release. "In particular, cattle lacking the gene that produces prions can help scientists test the resistance to prion propagation, not only in the laboratory, but in live animals as well."

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