GM fish destroyed / Rabbits pharmed / Vegetarian pigs (19/7/2007)

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1.Biosecurity NZ Destroys 300 GM Tropical Fish
2.Milking transgenic rabbits gets approval

1.Biosecurity NZ Destroys 300 GM Tropical Fish

Biosecurity New Zealand has seized and destroyed 300 genetically modified tropical fish from a Christchurch property.

Members of the public alerted authorities after seeing them for sale online.

The fish are thought to have been bred from a consignment of red danio fish, imported from Singapore earlier this year.

They came into the country due to an incorrect declaration by an importer who believed they were dyed red rather than genetically modified.


2.Milking transgenic rabbits gets approval
DrugResearcher.com, 16 Jul 2007

A drug developed from the milk of transgenic animals is one step closer to being the second such drug on the market following a European thumbs up of its facilities, marking a significant move in the controversial drug development technology.

Dutch biotech company Pharming announced it complied with the standards of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) following inspections by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) of five facilities used in the manufacturing of Rhucin, a therapeutic protein produced in transgenic rabbits.

The GMP approval, the first in the world for a transgenic rabbit facility, marks a positive step towards the anticipated European launch of the drug later this year, which would make it the second transgenic animal-derived drug on the market since last year's approval of GTC Biotherapeutic's goat-derived ATryn.

Initially, European regulators had rejected the drug on the grounds that not enough surgical cases were brought before them and that results from patients treated in a compassionate use programme and at childbirth could not be accepted.

However, on appeal, a reconsideration of the evidence led to an EMEA back flip.

Other firms active in the transgenic arena include US firm Hematech, owned by Japan's Kirin Brewery, which is focusing on human antibody-producing cows that will be used for the development of large quantities of polyclonal antibodies, while US-based Avigenics is pursuing avian transgenesis for treatments in oncology, infectious disease and autoimmune disease.


By Deborah Kuo CNA - Taipei, July 12 2007

Researchers from National Taiwan University have successfully developed transgenic pigs that are herbivorous, and produce odorless and pollutant-free manure, an academic said Thursday.

More than 30 "environmentally-friendly" pigs and piglets, which have more efficient digestive tracts, have been produced via genetic engineering by an NTU research team led by Prof. Winston T.K. Cheng.

The NTU transgenic pigs have the ability to secrete large amounts of phytase and cellulase -- two enzymes that could significantly improve pigs' digestion.

With higher amount of phytase and cellulase compounds in their digestive systems, the transgenic pigs could become totally herbivorous, so their feed could entirely consist of plants and vegetables.

A "vegetarian" pig would release manure that would contain less pulp and nearly no indigestible phosphorus -- meaning less pollutants and no odor -- tremendously contributing to environmental protection efforts, said Cheng, who is internationally renowned as the world's first scientist to produce test-tube pigs and sheep.

Currently, the NTU research team is providing differing diets to those 30-odd pigs and piglets, in an attempt to learn how the animals' manure would vary in pulp and phosphorus contents depending on the amounts of soybean and corn in their feed, according to Cheng.

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