Texas A&M genetically engineers goat with malaria vaccine in its milk

Researchers at Texas A&M University's Reproductive Sciences Complex have used genetic engineering to breed a goat that has a malaria vaccine in its milk.

The scientists hope that the process can be replicated to the point that natives of malaria-endemic countries could simply drink the milk and be immunized against malaria. The first step is to wait for the goat they have genetically engineered to give birth to determine if the offspring will carry on the gene that carries the vaccine, KBTX reports.

"There are lots of different things that one can think about producing in the milk," Mark Westhusin, a researcher at Texas A&M, said, according to KBTX. "Malaria vaccine is one that's really important because there's a big demand for it in a lot of impoverished countries."

It is estimated that malaria kills approximately 650,000 to 1.2 million people each year worldwide. Even after the offspring of the goat have been evaluated, there are many steps left to make the researchers' goal a reality.

"We'd love to start air dropping goats into Africa but the reality is we're not going to be able to achieve that objective for another five or 10 years at least," Charles Long, another researcher with Texas A&M, said, according to KBTX.