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Chickens Genetically Modified To Lay Cancer-Fighting Eggs

Chickens Genetically Modified To Lay Cancer-Fighting Eggs

Do you worry about the amount of cholesterol you get from eating too many eggs?

What if you could get incredible health benefits from eating eggs? Benefits that fight cancer, hepatitis, and other diseases.

In a bit of bizarre news, Japanese researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have bred genetically engineered chickens that lay eggs carrying a protein that is known to fight diseases like cancer and hepatitis.

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According to a report by The Japan News, the AIST researchers modified cells of chicken sperm to produce a protein called interferon beta, a protein related to the immune system.

The interferon beta protein has been found to be effective in treating malignant skin cancer and hepatitis. The cells modified with the protein were used to fertilize eggs producing male chicks, and after a few rounds of cross-breeding, the male chicks inherited the genes with the interferon beta protein.

AIST researchers developed the method with the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization in Ibaraki Prefecture and the import and sales firm Cosmo Bio Co. in Tokyo. They now have three hens that lay eggs every day or two, and the egg whites from these eggs contain the protein.

The project’s goal was to possibly reduce the cost of making drugs. “This is a result that we hope leads to the development of cheap drugs,” Hironobu Hojo, professor at Osaka University, told The Japan News. “In the future, it will be necessary to closely examine the characteristics of the agents contained in the eggs and determine their safety as pharmaceutical products.”

The researchers now plan to focus on stabilizing the interferon beta protein content of the eggs to produce up to 100 milligrams from a single egg.

While cancer may not be treated with an omelette in the future, cheap cancer-fighting drugs sound like a good alternative.

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