Tuberculosis-resistant cows developed using CRISPR gene editing by Chinese scientists


Tuberculosis has long been a problem for cattle farmers in developing countries, especially in Asia and Africa. Now, scientists from Northwest A&F University in Shaanxi, China have used a tweaked CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system to insert a protein that helps fight off the disease-causing bacteria….This is the first time gene editing has been used to confer tuberculosis resistance in cows, making the study a major breakthrough.

When the researchers infected the cows with Mycobacterium bovis, which causes tuberculosis, their genetically modified creations showed more resistance than the non-gene edited cows. The researchers published their results in the journal Genome Biology.

The authors cut the TB resistance-conferring gene, natural resistance-associated macrophage protein-1 or NRAMP1, from a line of mouse white blood cells that you can buy yourself online, and glued it into over a thousand cow embryos, which they transplanted into over four hundred cows. This resulted in 20 genetically modified cows, 11 that lived longer than three months.

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