GM pigs might be human drug source

12 November 1999




GM pigs might be human drug source

SCIENTISTS have genetically engineered mice to produce human proteins in their semen, and believe the technique could be used to produce drugs from genetically modified livestock, particularly pigs.

According to reports on the BBC News website, research at Laval University, Canada, has produced mice which secrete human growth hormone in their ejaculate. Scientists believe that boars, which can produce up to half a litre of semen at a time, could produce pharmaceutical proteins cost-effectively.

Trials are already under way, and researchers believe they could have a herd of 60 pigs producing proteins within two years.

Mice were engineered to produce human growth hormone using a DNA sequence which is only active in male sex glands. The sequence was linked to one which encodes for human growth hormone, and the combined sequence was injected into fertilised mouse eggs. &#42


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