Source AP ©

New Zealand scientists breed cows that produce low-fat milk

New Zealand scientists are breeding a herd of cows that produce lower-fat milk after the chance discovery of a natural gene mutation in one animal.

Milk from the cows is also high in health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids and makes butter that spreads as easily as margarine even when chilled, biotechnology company Vialactia said Monday.

Scientists discovered a cow, later named Marge by researchers, carrying the mutant gene in a dairy herd they were testing in 2001, Vialactia chief scientist Russell Snell said.

Vialactia, a subsidiary of the Fonterra Cooperative Group, one of the world's largest milk companies, bought the cow for 300 New Zealand dollars (US$218; euro162) and moved it to a research site.

While she looked like any other Friesian cow, testing revealed that Marge's milk contained about 1 percent fat, compared with about 3.5 percent for whole milk.

Offspring from the cow also produce low-fat milk, showing the genetic trait is dominant, Snell said.

Scientists have yet to isolate the exact chemical pathway responsible for the naturally produced low-fat milk, Snell said.

"Every now and then nature throws up these sorts of things and it was simply a case of us being in the right place at the right time," he said.

The company expects the first commercial herd of cows supplying natural low-fat milk and spreadable butter for the market by 2011.

Three days before the second stage of the presidential election in Ukraine, Russia has banned exports of oil, coal and petroleum products to Ukraine

Russia bans exports of oil, coal and petroleum products to Ukraine

Three days before the second stage of the presidential election in Ukraine, Russia has banned exports of oil, coal and petroleum products to Ukraine

Russia bans exports of oil, coal and petroleum products to Ukraine

Three days before the second stage of the presidential election in Ukraine, Russia has banned exports of oil, coal and petroleum products to Ukraine

Russia bans exports of oil, coal and petroleum products to Ukraine
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Russia bans exports of oil, coal and petroleum products to Ukraine
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