science museum

Making medicines

Scientists can use transgenic organisms to make large amounts of previously very expensive medicines. For example, some patients with diabetes now receive insulin (a hormone) obtained from genetically modified bacteria. Researchers in Edinburgh have also bred genetically modified sheep which produce a human protein in their milk. Doctors can treat some patients with lung disease with this protein, once it is purified from the milk.

Tracy produces a human protein in her milk. The protein can be used to treat people with lung disease.
Tracy produces a human protein in her milk. The protein can be used to treat people with lung disease.
Science & Society Picture Library

Science Museum Home Page Who am I? Science Museum Home Page