Azara Blog: Chickens lay eggs containing potentially cancer-fighting proteins

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Date published: 2007/01/14

The BBC says:

UK scientists have developed genetically modified chickens capable of laying eggs containing proteins needed to make cancer-fighting drugs.

The breakthrough has been announced by the same research centre that created the cloned sheep, Dolly.

The Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, says it has produced five generations of birds that can produce useful levels of life-saving proteins in their eggs.

The work could lead to a range of drugs that are cheaper and easier to make.

Professor Harry Griffin, director of the institute, said: "One of the characteristics of lots of medical treatments these days is that they're very expensive.

"The idea of producing the proteins involved in treatments of flocks of laying hens means they can produce in bulk, they can produce cheaply and indeed the raw material for this production system is quite literally chicken feed."

BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh told BBC News 24 that the scientists, who have bred 500 birds, had been working on the project for seven years.

But it could be another five years before patient trials get the go-ahead and 10 years until a medicine is fully developed, he said.

It's still early days, but advances along this line are bound to become more and more frequent. Now will the so-called environmentalists, who always rant on and on (for religious reasons) about how horrid GM food is, be willing to take any medicine made in this way?

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