Tuesday, July 3, 2007

iPhones and Mendel

So it seems that, no matter how wonderful the newest technologies are, enough to have people waiting outside all night in the rain for a phone they then can't hardly connect to the one provider they can use ...

there is still a time and a place for the old ways. Namely, in a world of laboratories fiddling with genetic material, a bunch out there in New Zealand has done something the old, Mendelian, way ... something that may within just a few years lighten the load on all non-vegans.

What the h#$% is she talking about now?

In a massive $130 million dollar project, involving the screening of the milk of literally millions of cows, scientists in New Zealand have discovered "Marge". Marge is a cow who, and I will call her who out of respect!, naturally makes milk which not only is naturally skimmed, but also high in omega-3 oils. What fat the milk has is almost entirely polyunsaturated. Not the saturated fat that makes whole milk dangerous for the heart and arteries. Butter from this cow has the added advantage of being spreadable straight from the fridge.

"Marge" has been bred, and her daughters do naturally produce the same milk. The scientists are hoping her sons will pass on the trait too - leading to herds of cattle producing healthier foods.

I don't want to get into the vegan, vegetarian, fruitarian, omnivore argument here. I just want to say how delighted I was to discover this development which has ultimately respected normal processes, involved no genetic modification, and worked because of human ingenuity applied to good old fashioned boring, long-term, Mendelian development. Go New Zealand. Think I'll even cheer for you in the America's Cup tomorrow.

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