US and Japanese scientists nurture genetically engineered cows free from "mad cow disease"

Researchers from the United States and Japan recently announced that they have developed a cow embryo that does not produce prion protein through genetic modification. Because this protein mutation can lead to "mad cow disease," the researchers believe that the cows developed from these embryos are likely to be free of "mad cow disease." Both healthy and mad cows produce prions in cattle. The prion protein in the diseased cow has been mutated and spread rapidly in the brain of the cow, causing poor coordination and behavioral problems, eventually leading to the death of the diseased cattle. According to the “Nature” magazine’s website on the 3rd, scientists from the United States and Japan have developed a cow embryo that does not produce prions at all, in order to thoroughly solve the “mad cow disease” problem. They first extracted the prion protein gene sequence from bovine somatic cells, and then inserted it into the gene sequence with an artificial DNA fragment to prevent the gene from functioning normally. Then, they reinjected this modified gene sequence into the bovine body cells, and then developed the bovine embryo through cloning. At present, these embryos have been implanted in cows. The researchers said that if the embryos develop normally, transgenic cows free of mad cow disease will be born early next year. Of course, after the birth of the calves, they also have to use scientific methods to test whether they are certain they will not develop "mad cow disease." Scientists in charge of the study said in an interview with the website that they eventually wanted to use this genetically modified cow to cultivate "Crayon disease," the antibody commonly known as "mad cow disease." BSE is called "bovine spongiform encephalopathy," a zoonotic disease in which the brain, spine and eyes are mostly infected. If humans eat products made of diseased animals, they may be infected with CJD.

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