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Scientists Developing Genetically Engineered Milk

October 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Two California bioengineers concerned about animal welfare and sustainability are developing a way to make milk from genetically engineered yeast. Called Muufri, the Petri dish milk will taste the same as cow’s milk because yeast cultures will produce real milk proteins, fats, minerals and sugars. Using a safe process similar to that which produces synthetic insulin, the scientists insert DNA sequences from cattle into yeast cells, grow the cultures at controlled temperatures and concentrations, and then gather the milk proteins. Though it seems a promising technology, some scientists are skeptical that manufactured milk will ever supplant the real thing.
Linda Qiu, "Milk Grown in a Lab Is Humane and Sustainable. But Can It Catch On?", National Geographic, October 22, 2014, © National Geographic Society
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