Milk-free cheese made using human DNA strands
San Francisco-based iGem group said it found a way to make cheese proteins using genetic sequences found in mammals.
The DNA blueprints are inserted into the yeast, which creates cheese that is vegan-compatible because of the lack of animal products.
Some of the DNA strands are from humans, because the developers hope milk proteins made from our own species will mean less chance of allergic reactions.
iGem has now hit its $15,000 (£8,790) goal on the Indiegogo crowd-funding website, to develop the cheese for mass market.
It claims that the product is the first vegan cheese – rather than a cheese substitute.
On its fundraising page, iGem said: “To create our proteins, we study animal genomes to find natural milk-protein genetic sequences.
“We optimize the genes for use in yeast and synthesize the resulting yeast milk protein DNA from scratch.
“This DNA is then put into yeast cells where the cellular machinery takes over and produces real milk-protein from the DNA blueprint provided by us.”
The company said it “may be a while” before the finished product is ready for sale.
Regulations on food generated using genetically engineered organisms are complex, and more research needs to take place, it warned.
Amanda Mary (Mary) senior cancer researcher.
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