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How to make cheese without cows

Jul 16, 2014

How to make cheese without cowsA group of scientists plans to make real cheese without the need for animals to produce milk.

There are lots of reasons why people avoid cheese. Some are concerned about the welfare of farm animals, or the environmental effects of dairy farming. Others are lactose intolerant, meaning that they can't digest the sugars found in milk.

To solve this problem, a group of scientists plans to genetically engineer yeast so that it produces the same proteins found in real milk, and use the result to make cheese. The result would not contain lactose, so lactose-intolerant people would be able to eat it without problems. It would also be suitable for vegans, because the genetic material added to the yeast would be produced artifically rather than being transplanted from animals.

Although the process sounds unusual, the basic principle is already widely used. Genetically-modified yeast are already used to produce insulin for diabetics: before the technique was developed, it had to be extracted from animals.

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