A group of scientists Uruguay, in partnership with the Institut Pasteur in Montevideo, Wednesday announced the birth of genetically modified sheep phosphorescent first of its kind in Latin America.
"Gene transfer of this species was not available in Latin America and the successful positioning of Uruguay at the highest international scientific standards," welcomed the Institute of Animal Reproduction Uruguay (IRAUy) and the Pasteur Institute in a statement .
Precedents in the region are a transgenic cow producing human proteins in their milk, established in Argentina in 2011, and genetically modified goats in Brazil, which also produce proteins for human use.
Uruguayan sheep were born in October 2012 at the IRAUy, where they developed normally, without showing differences with their non-transgenic counterparts, told AFP Alejo Menchaca, president of the Institute.
Their only visible specificity is to be phosphorescent when placed under ultra-violet light, due to the introduction into their DNA gene of a jellyfish.
The operation does not end in itself, if it is to verify the effectiveness of the method of introducing a foreign gene into the DNA of these animals.
"This is a very effective technique for all those who are born are positive. Now we can work with another gene, which will be of greatest interest to produce a specific protein," continued Mr. Menchaca.
Research study such as the ability to take a gene responsible for the production of a protein missing in some human diseases (such as insulin in the case of diabetics), to incorporate into the genome of a sheep, which in birth occur in the milk. It would then be possible to isolate the protein to make it easier than current methods, according to researchers from drugs. AFP