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Genetically engineering milk

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 February 2016

C. Bruce A. Whitelaw*
The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
Akshay Joshi
The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
Satish Kumar
Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India
Simon G. Lillico
The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
Chris Proudfoot
The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
*For correspondence; e-mail:


It has been thirty years since the first genetically engineered animal with altered milk composition was reported. During the intervening years, the world population has increased from 5bn to 7bn people. An increasing demand for protein in the human diet has followed this population expansion, putting huge stress on the food supply chain. Many solutions to the grand challenge of food security for all have been proposed and are currently under investigation and study. Amongst these, genetics still has an important role to play, aiming to continually enable the selection of livestock with enhanced traits. Part of the geneticist's tool box is the technology of genetic engineering. In this Invited Review, we indicate that this technology has come a long way, we focus on the genetic engineering of dairy animals and we argue that the new strategies for precision breeding demand proper evaluation as to how they could contribute to the essential increases in agricultural productivity our society must achieve.

Research Article
Copyright © Proprietors of Journal of Dairy Research 2016 

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