Biotech Updates

GM Chickens Prevent Spread of Bird Flu

March 18, 2011

Scientists from UK universities have developed genetically modified (GM) chickens that could help prevent the spread of bird flu caused by influenza virus, which poses a threat to both poultry production and human health worldwide. These GM chickens are not resistant to the flu but they produce a decoy RNA that blocks the propagation of the influenza virus. Instead of replicating their own DNA, the virus propagates the decoy RNA. According to the scientists, the same technique could also be used on other animals such as pigs to prevent the spread of swine flu. At present, vaccines are used to protect chickens from bird flu but some scientists fear that this may further cause mutation of the influenza virus.

Read the abstract of their study at