KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Researchers Using Cattle To Fight Disease



Bookmark and Share

They’re black and white; they live in a barn, and their being used for research. It might sound a little strange, but for researchers at Sanford Health, cattle could be the new way to fight disease.

For Dr. Eddie Sullivan and his team of researchers, scientists, and veterinarians it has been 14 years full of hard work. The research started at the University Massachusetts and was then brought to Sioux Falls, and soon it could be helping people worldwide.

They might moo, drool, and look like normal cows, but underneath their hide is an immune system that's not so typical.

"We genetically engineer these cows so they produce the human version of these disease fighting proteins," Sullivan said.

Sullivan is one of several researchers at Sanford Applied Biosciences. He said around 60 cows have modified immune systems that are similar to humans. The purpose: to create disease fighting antibodies.

"We can purify that human protein out of the cow’s blood, they become plasma donors once or twice a month just like a human would, and then we can take those antibodies to help people who are fighting disease," Sullivan explained.

And they’re diseases that range from the flu, to cancer. The cattle are vaccinated and after two weeks their bodies start producing the antibodies. And it's the same thing our bodies do, the only difference is since cattle are much larger, they produce much more.

 "Then we boost the levels, so they can produce very high levels of antibodies over about a two or three month period to the particular disease," Sullivan added.

The plasma is then brought to the Sanford Research Center in Sioux Falls and held in a freezer at 2 degrees below zero.

Giant bags, bottles, and tubes are filled with the protein. Then it's up to the researchers and scientists to get it ready for human use.

"We really have a unique opportunity to provide help to patients really all over the world, from right here in Sioux Falls," Sullivan smiled.

In March, Sullivan will have his first meeting with the Federal Drug Administration, to see what regulations need to be met so clinical trials can begin. The goal is to have trials on going by this time next year.

The cows are injected with only a component of the virus they are used to create antibodies for, therefore the animal does not get sick.


< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

Teen Injured In SF Car Vs. Moped Accident

A 15-year-old girl was sent to the hospital Tuesday morning after her moped ...

$2.5M Donation To Fund Northern State Theater

A group of business professionals in the Aberdeen area has donated $2. 5 million to help ...

McCrory Gardens Hosts Vegetable Harvesting Program

South Dakota gardeners can get some helpful advice this week in ...

Workshop To Focus On Mountain Pine Beetle Handling  Sep. 16

South Dakota High School Students Earn Dual Credit  Sep. 16

The Daily Scoop: 9-16-2014  story with video  Sep. 16

Over 50 Homes Featured In 'Parade Of Homes'  story with video  Sep. 16

Clerical Error Delays 4th Tea Bond Vote   story with video  Sep. 15

Radisson Suspends Vikings Sponsorship  Sep. 15

SD Gets $1.2M For Unemployment Insurance Programs  Sep. 15

Parents Learn About Social Media  Sep. 15

SD Inmate's Death Ruled A Homicide  story with video  Sep. 15

Discipline Vs. Child Abuse: Where's The Line?  story with video  Sep. 15

South Dakota Teen Loses Her Battle With Cancer   story with video  Sep. 15

SD Board Adopts New Physical Education Standards  Sep. 15

Keystone XL Operator Asks For PUC Recertification  Sep. 15

Sioux Falls Mayor Travels To ND Oil Boomtown  Sep. 15

SF Officer Injured In Motorcycle Accident Released From Hospital  Sep. 15

SD Prison Inmate Death Ruled A Homicide  Sep. 15

Police Find Missing Sioux Falls Teen  Sep. 15

KDLT News Archive
     

South Dakota Teen Loses Her Battle With Cancer   story with video

A South Dakota community is mourning the loss of one of ...

SD Prison Inmate Death Ruled A Homicide

A death certificate filed with the Minnehaha County ...

Police Find Missing Sioux Falls Teen

Sioux Falls Police say they found a teenage girl who had been ...

SD Inmate's Death Ruled A Homicide  story with video  Sep. 15

SF Officer Injured In Motorcycle Accident Released From Hospital  Sep. 15

Slice Of Black Hills National Forest Being Sold  Sep. 15

Sioux Falls Mayor Travels To ND Oil Boomtown  Sep. 15

Radisson Suspends Vikings Sponsorship  Sep. 15

KDLT News Archive
     

Roosevelt bats sweep Mitchell   story with video

The top-ranked Roosevelt softball team swept 2 from Mitchell Monday night at Sherman ...

Vining, Lincoln lead Boys City Golf after 36  story with video

Tommy Vining shot a second round 71 at Willow Run to take a 5-shot lead over ...

Lundquist Passing Life & Roncalli's Tests  story with video

ABERDEEN, S. D.   --  Rushing is the trademark of Aberdeen Roncalli ...

Vikings statement on Adrian Peterson  Sep. 15

Vikings Reinstate Peterson After Abuse Charge  Sep. 15

Parsley's Pick Six Leads Northern To Victory  story with video  Sep. 14

Gridiron Greatness: September 14th, 2014  story with video  Sep. 14

Coyotes Can't Escape Bear Trap (Again)  story with video  Sep. 14

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top