Mon, 12 Aug 2002 06:14:48 GMT

Joint Venture Clones Cattle With Human Antibodies. Scientists reported yesterday that they had produced cloned calves that made human antibodies in their blood. By Andrew Pollack. [New York Times: Science]

Okay, not the best article. It was not clear through most of it just what they had done. Getting cattle that make a specific human antibody is fine, but we are a long way from having animals larger than mice that can recreate the entire repertoire of human antibodies without contaminating them with bovine ones. And I do not think that antibodies would be able to transmit a prion disease. But, unless purification processes are extra stringent, there is a possibility of the bovine serum having some. I would be much more worried about the fact that the process had to go through mice, hamsters, etc. Quite a complex protocol to get a few cows that make some human antibodies. They will have to simplify it somehow.