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New technique to create genetically modified chickens

by 5m Editor
9 June 2006, at 12:00am

US - A U.S. biotechnology firm said on Wednesday it had developed a new technique to produce genetically modified chickens that could be used to produce treatments for human diseases.

New technique to create genetically modified chickens - US - A U.S. biotechnology firm said on Wednesday it had developed a new technique to produce genetically modified chickens that could be used to produce treatments for human diseases.

The technology, devised by scientists at the privately-owned California company Origen Therapeutics and researchers at the University of California, Davis, may also lead to improved poultry production and chickens resistant to avian flu.

Origen is one of several biotech groups that have been working on new ways to produce human antibodies and proteins in eggs, milk and farm crops.

"We now have a technology to genetically modify chickens in a very precise way," Robert Kay, the president of Origen, said in an interview.

He said the technology would allow scientists to alter the chicken genome in ways that could allow them to produce drugs in very large quantities and develop new therapies.

The technology is based on genetically engineering primordial germ cells, the precursor cells to sperm and eggs, in chickens.

Marie-Cecile van de Lavoir, the senior scientist at Origen, said the cells were the key to introducing genetic elements into chickens and to passing them on to future generations.

The company hopes to use the technology, described in the journal Nature, to produce antibody-based therapies for illnesses and to overcome the problem of drug resistance in certain diseases.

Source: Reuters - 8th June 2006

5m Editor