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Transcript of Pharmaceutical Camel
They wanted to slash the prices of life-saving drugs — like insulin and clotting factors for treating haemophilia — in the Middle East and North Africa
Dubai's Camel Reproduction Center inserted genes for a pharmaceutically-active protein into camels so that the camels' milk will express the molecule in their milk
The researchers have not revealed which gene they are inserting into the camels but many believe that it is human genes that are able to create the necessary proteins
How they did it
The researchers are creating a cell bank from 'elite' camels that excel in milk production and adapting to drought and hot weather to clone these animals.
Why camel and not cow milk? Camel milk costs the same as cow milk in the region and the camel is better suited for the environment and more resistant to local diseases.
The protein can be extracted from camel blood or milk and then purified and sold.
Promises to be a cheaper source of vital drugs.
Modified camel cells with the “foreign DNA” is implanted into full-grown camels as embryos.
The calving rate for cloned embryos is only 5%.
First GM camels won’t be born until mid-2014.
How they did it cont'd