The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the thumbs up to a genetically modified chicken that produces a drug in its eggs. It’s the latest addition to a growing area in medicine known as “farmaceuticals.”
Neither the chicken or the egg will be allowed to enter into the food supply. Too bad, might’ve made an interesting omelette 😉
This isn’t the first so-called “animal drug”. The FDA has already approved GM goats that produce an anticoagulant in their milk, and a drug for treating hereditary angioedema that’s produced by transgenic rabbits.
University of Florida Health researchers have discovered that a rabbit virus can deliver a one-two punch, killing some kinds of cancer cells while eliminating a common and dangerous complication of bone marrow transplants.
For patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and multiple myeloma, a bone marrow transplant can be both curative and perilous. It replenishes marrow lost to disease or chemotherapy but raises the risk that newly transplanted white blood cells will attack the recipient’s body.
Now researchers say the myxoma virus, found in rabbits, can do double duty, quelling the unwanted side effects of a bone marrow transplant and destroying cancer cells.
Why is it not a treatment? This is likely preliminary findings on white blood cells in a petri dish. It needs a delivery mechanism, dosage calculate and long term study… It’s like vitamin C – eating high concentrations just gets filtered out, so there’s tests about injection to bypass safeguards.
By all appearances, rabbit could be the food of the future. Touted for years by food activists including Michael Pollan, these fluffy herbivores eat alfalfa instead of energy-intensive soy or fish meal, grow quickly and thrive in clean, disease-free conditions. Plus, while their reproductive prowess may be clichéd, California farmer Mark Pasternak and his wife Myriam can’t build rabbit barns fast enough to keep up with demand.
Just what will you be putting on your plate during this holiday season? You probably already know that centuries of selective breeding have produced the creatures we love to feast on, but you might be surprised at how weird the process has been. Here are the 10 most startling origin stories for the animals that most people eat.
On a similar note, I treeplanted with a person who enjoyed dogs but would never own one for sake of the domestication the animal species has undergone over centuries. Which brings up another point – that the list in the article is predominantly North American.