Chinese scientists claim to have bred the world’s first genetically-modified calf that in two years will produce low-lactose milk.
According to reports from state media agency Xinhua, the calf was born earlier this year at a lab at Inner Mongolia Agricultural University.
The calf, which has been named ‘Lakes’ “is healthy and strong,” said head researcher Zhang Li.
Researchers extracted foetus fibroblasts from a Holstein cow that was 45 days pregnant and genetically engineering the foetus by transplanting a lactose dissolution enzyme into the cell, according to the Xinhua report.
“The enzyme can dissolve lactose – the main sugar found in dairy products – into galactose or glucose to ease digestive disorders among the lactose-intolerant people,” Zhang added.
The engineered foetus was then transplanted into the womb of a cow.
Researchers hope that ‘Lakes’ will produce safer milk for lactose-intolerant people, who account for around 60% of China’s population.