Murray & Maga improve goat milk with genetic engineering
from CA&ES Outlook
Genetic engineering makes it possible to improve agriculture in ways that traditional breeding cannot.
Animal Science professors Jim Murray and Elizabeth Maga (above) have spent many years working on a line of genetically engineered dairy goats that produce higher levels of a protein called lysozyme in their milk. Lysozyme is an enzyme naturally found in human breast milk. The enzyme has antibacterial properties that help protect babies against diarrhea and promotes the growth of a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
The researchers introduced the human gene into the goat genome to produce higher levels of lysozyme in goats' milk. The hope is that milk produced by these transgenic goats could one day be used to help prevent deadly diarrhea in weaned children of the developing world.