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‘Super cows’: How genetic tinkering could turn farm animals into cancer-fighting drug factories

| | August 18, 2017

While the overall biotech industry in South Dakota is small — about 66 firms — the state is emerging as a national force in transgenic animals.

These advances have been fast-tracked thanks to improvements in CRISPR technology, which allows scientists to edit genes with previously unimaginable precision. Ostensibly, the method used by SAB Biotherapeutics — boosting compromised immune systems with healthy, fully human antibodies grown in cattle — could be replicated to tackle autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and even the holy grail: oncology. The company already has a treatment for Ebola in the works, too.

Transgenic animals could also be used to improve drug research, helping scientists test medicines on human systems without having them attached to a live person. “There’s a longstanding understanding that trying to test therapeutics on animals doesn’t often translate well when you test in humans,” says James Hughes, director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, a think tank based in Boston. Having more access to human antibodies, even ones bred in non–Homo sapiens, could be a giant leap for the scientific community.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Can Cloned Cows Cure Human Disease?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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