Cows to Make Human Milk?
A scientist at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and another one from the China Agricultural University have said they and fellow researchers have created a herd of cows that can produce milk that has characteristics of human milk. As of this posting, not much has been revealed about how they did it. Nutrients like gamma linoleic aid, an essential fatty acid, are found in human milk, but not in milk from cows or goats, in significant quantities.
The goal for the marketplace is to have this mass-produced human milk from cows in grocery stores in about two years. One of the scientists, Li Ning, said, “In ancient China, only the emperor and the empress could drink human milk throughout their lives, which was believed to be the height of opulence. Why not make that kind of milk more available for ordinary people?” (Source: Chinadaily.com) The cow herd experienced some gene manipulation in order to get them to produce milk with human traits.
Human milk was used last year to make cheese by a New York chef. His project created quite a stir on the Web, but humans have been consuming their own milk for an extremely long time, to good effect.
In China the cow-generated human milk will be subjected to various tests over a 22-month period in order to find out if it is safe for human consumption. If all goes well, it might be on sale fairly soon. Should it become popular, will cow-human milk then eventually become a common product available outside of China also?
Image Credit: Janine Chedid