Got Milk? Get Eggs!

A research team in Georgia believes chickens are ideal candidates to produce human proteins. Other animals, like sheep and goats, have been genetically engineered to produce human proteins in their milk. But the time it takes for a genetically engineered animal to mature and produce milk is much longer than the time it takes for a GE chicken to start laying eggs.

By the Numbers

An average chicken will lay around 330 eggs a year. All of those eggs could contain important human proteins if they came from a GE chicken. Human drugs that might be made using eggs include serum albumin, which is used to treat blood loss, and antibodies, used to treat infections and cancer.

Source: Reuters. "Eggs with a Little Extra." (Online.) September 2002.

Explore More: Genetic Engineering
Copyright 2004, Iowa Public Television
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