Scientists in China say they have produced cloned cattle with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis. Twenty calves were born, of which 11 survived for more than three months.
Bovine TB is a risk to cattle in many countries, including parts of the UK, Africa and Asia. Researchers in China used a genome editing tool to change the genetic code of cattle. They say the technology could have widespread uses in agriculture.
A team from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Northwest A&F University in Shaanxi, China, altered a gene involved in fighting infection. “The resulting transgenic cattle exhibited increased resistance to M. bovis (bovine TB) infection,” they said.
“Our study provides an avenue to develop the CRISPR/Cas9 system for agricultural applications.” Scientists in China have previously inserted a mouse gene into cattle in an attempt to boost protection against TB.