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January 07, 2009

Genetically Engineered Goats?

On Friday, the FDA's Blood Products Advisory Board will consider an application for commercial use of gengineered goats that produce the anti-clotting drug ATryn in their milk. An FDA evaluation released today says that the medicine produced by the goats is effective and safe.

"It's the first time we've held an advisory committee meeting on any product from a genetically engineered animal," said FDA spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey. If ATryn is approved, the FDA may require follow-up monitoring to make sure that patients' immune systems don't start making antibodies in reaction to the medication.

[...]

To make the drug, scientists at GTC put DNA for the human antithrombin protein into single cell embryos of goats. Goat embryos with the gene were then inserted into the wombs of surrogate mothers who gave birth to baby goats carrying the new trait.

The first of these goats were called the "founders." Their offspring also carry the gene. The females produce high levels of antithrombin in their milk, from which the protein is collected and purified.

Consumer protection groups, "public interest" groups, and other Luddite fearmongers are concerned that the modified goats will eventually breed with the general goat population, thus unleashing a biological holocaust of ZOMBIE GOATS which will one day rule the Earth.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:51 PM

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