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Where will your industry be 'the day after tomorrow?'

Authors: H.L. Bruce


The global dairy industry harvests its sole resource primarily from one source: the cow. In light of the market repercussions caused by bovine spongiform encephalitis, every industry must consider what it would do to sustain its production should its supply chain be compromised. Although other mammals are the obvious choice, developing their production potential would require many years. Ultimate control of the milk protein production environment is available with in vitro culture, with lactoferrin having been produced using transgenic yeast and fungi. Mammary cell culture has the potential to produce all the proteins and lipids synthesised by the mammary gland, but synthesis can only be sustained in vitro for 8 h. Production of milk proteins using transgenic plants or fungi offer more economical alternatives to mammalian cell culture and the recombinant proteins they produce possess structures, stabilities and activities similar to those found in human milk.

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