Russia has a good news for all the lactose-intolerant people across the Globe. Russian scientists from Ernst Federal Science Centre for Animal Husbandry, Skoltech, Moscow State University, and their colleagues announced that they have successfully produced the country’s first viable cloned cow, just recently turned one year old.
The unnamed cloned cow weighted about 140 pounds when she was born in April 2020. Since then, she was kept in a separate enclosure with her mother. At fourteen months old, the calf is nearly half a ton and appears perfectly healthy with the reproductive cycle.
The team was successful in removing the protein responsible for Beta-lactoglobulin.
This raises the hope for producing the first hypoallergenic milk for people suffering from lactose malabsorption.
In the study entitled, “Production of the Cloned Offspring and CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing of Embryonic Fibroblasts in Cattle” published in the Journal Doklady Biochemistry and Biophysics, Russian scientists managed to produce a cloned Cow by using Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) and Embryonic Fibroblasts as donors of the nuclei.
SCNT means that a nucleus from a regular cell donor is transferred into an egg, but its nucleus is removed, resulting in an embryo implanted to the uterus of a cow and carrying it to full-term.
The Cloned cow was born on April 10, 2020, weighting 138 ponds. Now at 14 months old, the calf has become an adult weighting 900 pounds with a regular reproductive cycle.
While genetically modified mice is common phenomenon known to the World, modifying other species is exponentially harder, due to higher cost and difficulty in breeding and husbandry, said co-author Petr Sergiev, a professor at Skoltech University.
“Thus a methodology leading to cattle producing hypoallergenic milk is not only a necessity for agriculture of the future, but also a cool project”, Sergiev further added.
Nearly 70 % of the world’s population has some form of Lactose malabsorption, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, making it difficult for them to digest milk and other dairy products.