It’s no secret that the key to healing Multiple Sclerosis may lie in finding a way to regenerate myelin. Myelin’s role has been understood for some time now, and if remyelination could be accomplished, healing MS could be one step closer. Finding a way to come up with a reliable source of myelin has been one of many roadblocks in the way of healing Multiple Sclerosis. That’s where the role of MLB and a herd of cattle come in.


MLB could play a role in healing MS


Myelin basic protein (MBP) is a protein that is key in the remyelination of the nerves in the Central Nervous System.  It was first sequenced in 1971 after it was isolated from myelin membranes.  The New Zealand research will involve inserting an artificial human gene into the New Zealand dairy cattle.  It’s expected that the cows will make a protein in their milk that will benefit patients and possibly lead to healing MS.

Without getting too technical, the research team will transfer transgenig cells into cows’ eggs, let them grow into embryos, then implant those embryos into cows acting as surrogate mothers.  They should give birth to calves that carry this synthetic gene and it is hoped they will produce the MBP in their milk.  Having this gene in milk is hoped to become a sort of way of healing MS naturally.  The cows will become a “biological factory” to manufacture MBP.  The MBP would be purified and put into testing trials to test efficacy in healing multiple sclerosis by acting as an alternate target for the wayward immune cells that attack the myelin sheaths of the nerve cells.  The theory is that the immune system of the MS patient will attack these surrogate cells rather than the myelin itself.


There is opposition to this approach


The opposition to the research cites New Zealand’s founding document, the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.  It promises to protect Mãori taonga, or things of value to Mãori.  It is argued that changing the genealogy of a species was against their spiritual guardianship of the “mauri,” or life force of all living species. But does the promise of healing Multiple Sclerosis trump the spiritual argument?  Apparently the New Zealand Environmental Risk management Authority thinks nor, as they have granted a strictly defined field trial.  To do otherwise might leave New Zealand behind the mainstream world of research.

This research may lead nowhere, or it may open a whole new avenue of approach to healing Multiple Sclerosis.  Whether or not the approach is natural or not remains up for debate.