Scientists in Argentina have created the world’s first cow to boast two human genes that will enable it to produce human-like milk.
Genetic engineering was used to introduce the “mothers’ milk” genes into the animal before birth, according to the National Institute of Agribusiness Technology in Buenos Aires.
As an adult the cloned cow “will produce milk that is similar to humans” in what will prove “a development of great importance for the nutrition of infants”, it said in a statement.
“The cloned cow, named Rosita ISA, is the first bovine born in the world that incorporates two human genes that contain the proteins present in human milk,” the statement said.
In April scientists in China published details of research showing that they had created GM Holstein dairy cows which produced milk containing proteins found in human breast milk.
But the Argentine team say the Chinese only introduced one human gene, whereas their research involved two genes meaning the milk will more closely resemble that of humans.