[4 October/Stuff]

According to a paper by The Royal Society Te Aparangi, removing allergens from milk and making manuka disease resistant could be potential uses of gene editing. It looked at several possible uses for New Zealand’s primary industries. Professor of Molecular Genetics at Massey University, Barry Scott, said gene editing techniques would allow more targeted and precise genetic changes than had been possible before in crop and livestock breeding. He added it could offer the opportunity to temporarily remove the gene that slowed down flowering, so trees could flower sooner. It also looked at gene editing to make manuka resistant to disease, which was identified as a timely issue with current biosecurity concerns. It could also be used to remove allergens from cows’ milk. AgResearch Science Group Leader, Tony Conner, noted genetic technologies were developing quickly overseas and it as imperative New Zealand was not left behind.