GOOD

Genetically Modified Cows Produce "Human" Milk

China's scientists have genetically modified cows to produce "human" milk. Why?


Earlier this month, China held an exhibition to showcase major technical achievements during its 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010). Among the wonders on display were photos of a herd of 200 cows that have been genetically modified to produce "human" milk.

Precise details of the bioengineering employed to adjust the composition of the milk these 200 cows produce are not available, nor is it clear exactly how closely the GM cow milk will resemble its human analog. According to the announcement in the state-run news outlet, China Daily, Li Ning, director of the State Key Laboratories for AgroBiotechnology at China Agricultural University, confirmed that the genetically modified herd's milk "contains the characteristics of human milk."


Li added that the cow-human milk "tastes stronger than normal milk" and explained that:

In ancient China, only the emperor and the empress could drink human milk throughout their lives, which was believed to be the height of opulence. Why not make that kind of milk more available for ordinary people?

\n

Interestingly, human milk has low protein density compared with cow's milk, and many of its health benefits are to be found in so-called "non-nutritional factors" such as anti-microbials, anti-inflammatory substances, hormones, and digestive enzymes. Li is vague on the specifics, but promises that China's genetically modified cows will allow scientists to mass-produce ingredients "that can help improve the immune systems and the central nervous systems of children." "Within 10 years," he added, "people will be able to pick up these human-milk-like products at the supermarket."

The ingenuity involved in shifting the nutrient profile of milk produced by mammals is pretty remarkable—it can now only be a matter of time before we bypass the Nestlé factory altogether and squeeze chocolate-yumberry flavor cow's milk with brain-boosting Omega 3 direct from our pet goat's udders.

However, this development should be understood in the light of China's recent scares over melamine-tainted baby milk. The national scandal that followed the sickening of nearly 300,000 infants fed the tainted milk powder prompted an ongoing discussion about the country's declining breast-feeding rates, which, in turn, has been blamed on everything from aggressive marketing by formula producers, migrant working patterns, and the rise of body image concerns.

Still, in a country where up to 90 percent of adults are lactose intolerant, genetically modifying cows to produce human breast milk seems like an unnecessarily complicated solution to a problem that could instead be tackled through greater support for and awareness of the benefits of breast-feeding itself, not to mention rigorous enforcement of China's new food safety laws.

Articles
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News