The same research lab that cloned Dolly the sheep has found a way to produce cancer-fighting proteins in genetically modified chicken eggs. Although practical treatments could be years off, the process promises to reduce the cost and complexity of generating cancer medicine.
The breakthrough has been announced by the same research centre that created the cloned sheep, Dolly.
The Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, says it has produced five generations of birds that can produce useful levels of life-saving proteins in egg whites.
The work could lead to a range of drugs that are cheaper and easier to make.
Professor Harry Griffin, director of the institute, told the BBC: “One of the characteristics of lots of medical treatments these days is that they’re very expensive.
“The idea of producing the proteins involved in treatments of flocks of laying hens means they can produce in bulk, they can produce cheaply and indeed the raw material for this production system is quite literally chicken feed.”