Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Springing forward
Making the most of a meal
Tree Frogs
Young Ants in the Kitchen
Navigating by the Light of the Moon
A Microbe Nanny for Young Wasps
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Primate Memory Showdown
Making Sense of Scents
Chemistry and Materials
Picture the Smell
Nanomagnets Corral Oil
Scientist Profile: Wally Gilbert
The Book of Life
Music of the Future
Earth from the inside out
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Downsized Dinosaurs
Teeny Skull Reveals Ancient Ancestor
Fossil Fly from Antarctica
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Drilling Deep for Fuel
Ice Age Melting and Rising Seas
Farms sprout in cities
Food Web Woes
Eating Up Foul Sewage Smells
Fungus Hunt
Finding the Past
Decoding a Beverage Jar
Sahara Cemetery
Big Woman of the Distant Past
Pygmy Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Strong Bones for Life
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Exam Preparation
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
Setting a Prime Number Record
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Human Body
Heavy Sleep
Hear, Hear
Prime Time for Broken Bones
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Project Music
IceCube Science
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Making the most of a meal
Fungus Hunt
Springing forward
Snapping Turtles
Space and Astronomy
An Earthlike Planet
Icy Red Planet
Slip-sliding away
Technology and Engineering
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
Riding Sunlight
Machine Copy
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
Flying the Hyper Skies
Revving Up Green Machines
Reach for the Sky
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Where rivers run uphill
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Add your Article

Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories


Medicine comes in lots of different packages. Painkillers in a tablet can make your headache go away. Antibiotic cream from a tube can prevent your cuts from becoming infected. But can medicine come packaged in chicken eggs?

A team of scientists from Scotland says yes. They’ve engineered special chickens that lay eggs with disease-treating drugs inside.

These drugs are made of molecules called proteins. Animals make thousands of proteins—they’re the main ingredient in skin, hair, milk, and meat. Since animals can make proteins easily, they’re good candidates for making protein drugs.

Researchers have already made cows, sheep, and goats that pump out protein drugs in their milk. But chickens are cheaper to take care of, need less room, and grow faster than these other animals. Those qualities could make chickens a better choice to become living drug factories, says Simon Lillico of the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland.

Lillico and a team of researchers changed chickens’ DNA—the code that tells cells how to make proteins—so that the birds’ cells made two protein drugs. One drug can treat skin cancer, and the other treats a nerve disease called multiple sclerosis.

The scientists altered the chickens’ DNA so that the birds made these drugs only in their egg whites. This protects the chickens’ bodies from the drugs’ possible harmful effects and makes it easy for scientists to collect the drugs.

These special chickens can pass on their drug-laying abilities to their chicks. So far, the Scottish researchers have bred five generations of drug-producing birds.

The scientists need to improve these chickens before they roost in drug companies’ labs. The birds don’t make enough drugs to treat people yet. But once the researchers perfect their technique, you might eventually take your medicine sunny-side up.—C. Brownlee

Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories

Designed and Powered by™