General Article GM chickens breakthrough to prevent spread of bird flu

Topic Selected: Biotech and Bioethics
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Researchers funded by BBSRC have developed chickens that are genetically modified to prevent them from spreading bird flu to other chickens. If this genetic modification is introduced into poultry flocks in the future it has the potential to protect the health of the birds and so increase the production of meat and eggs. It could also reduce the risk of bird flu epidemics that can lead to new flu outbreaks in the human population.
The study, which the researchers say is the first step in developing chickens that are completely resistant to avian flu, was published last night in the journal Science. The work was carried out by teams based in The Roslin Institute, an institute of BBSRC, at the University of Edinburgh and in the University of Cambridge Department of Veterinary Medicine.
Professor Helen Sang, who led the team at The Roslin Institute, said that as well as improving welfare and sustainability in the poultry industry, ‘this work could also form the basis for improving econom...

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