When people think of cookies most associate it with milk. The international group of scientists are proposing that soon people will be sipping milk from cockroaches. The milk produced from cockroaches are actually extremely nutritious. Scientists have even begun referring to many insects as mini-livestock!
But how did scientists find out about the milk in cockroaches? In 2004, Subramanian Ramaswamy started studying crystals found inside of the guts of cockroaches’ embryos. The crystals had come from the pacific beetle cockroach, the only cockroach species that gives birth to live young. The cockroach mothers feed the babies growing inside of them a milk-like substance. This milk contains the crystals made of protein. In order to view the placement of the atoms making up the crystals structure scientists go through X-ray diffraction. Through this scanning data it revealed the chemical recipe of the cockroach crystal. These crystals are packed of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Since our bodies cannot manufacture these essential nutrients we get them from the foods we eat, and so do baby cockroaches’. Barbra Stay, a biologist at the University of Iowa concluded that the roach milk is, “three times more nutritious than cow’s milk and four times more nutritious than buffalo’s milk. That would make it a very rich source of body-building ingredients.
Ramaswamy would like to see cockroach milk turned into a protein supplement to feed hungry people. But not everyone is confident it can be done. A possibility to make the milk would be to make this milk on a large scale in vats using yeast. Biotechnologists would use yeast to make a number of products, including medicines. They do this by adding new genes to yeast microbes. In this case, they would add the genes that the cockroach uses to make its milk protein.
To view this article: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/got-milk-roach-milk-could-be-new-superfood
Author: Surina Narine
This page is updated by Ms. Ereddia as well as her students. To submit a current event to the blog, instructions here, enter in the form below.