BRIC outsourcing US science jobs: Transgenic goat’s milk to fight diarrhea

Sometimes I am astounded by the progress being made in certain areas of biology. Coming on the heels of the dire reports of cholera in Haiti, I came across this report from MIT (you may need to register for free to view it)  on an effort funded by Brazil to use genetic engineering pioneered in the US to fight diarrhea in the poor. It notes how the policies on genetic engineering in the US hinder doing this type of work here, and exports highly developed biotech to the BRICs:

The Brazil case illustrates how anti-biotech sentiment in the U.S. may be pushing some biotechnologies toward the developing world, where science budgets are growing and scientists are eager to master these new technologies. “In Brazil you have a country that is forward-thinking, and [has] put into place the regulatory apparatus,” says James Murray, a professor at UC Davis who developed the technology for creating goats whose milk is loaded with human proteins that kill bacteria responsible for diarrhea.

It is clear that with the export of genetic engineering technology, know-how and research, the US is shooting itself once again in the foot by its own regulations to injure US exports. And in the process raising up the capabilities of the BRICs, in this case Brazil, who are moving to increase their position in R&D. Just so it is clear these are not low paid manufacturing and service jobs, these are scientific research jobs.

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