Imagine this: Goats, genetically engineered to produce malaria vaccine in their milk, are bred and distributed to African villages. Locals drink the milk, or receive the extracted vaccine, and are immunized against the disease, which kills hundreds of thousands of people a year, most of them children in Africa.
In fact, the scenario requires little imagination. Scientists in Texas, including Mark Westhusin, a specialist in reproductive biology at Texas A&M University, have already created animals like this in collaboration with a company called rEVO Biologics. Years of testing, trials, and regulatory challenges await, but the science exists and shows tremendous promise, Westhusin says.