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Biotechnology: Disease Resistant Livestock

Year 10 Science

Your Genome


Is it ethical to genetically modify farm animals for agriculture? Genetic engineering refers to the direct manipulation of an organism’s genes to alter or enhance certain characteristics.


Animal agriculture faces unprecedented challenges, including the need to increase productivity to meet increasing demands for high quality protein while combating increasing pest and disease pressures, improving animal welfare, adapting to a changing climate, and reducing the environmental impact of animal agriculture.

Humane Society United States


Undark Magazine

Biotechnology Could Change the Cattle Industry. Will it Succeed?


Vaccines, chemical preventatives, breeding disease resistant animals and clever management practices are a few strategies we're working on to reduce disease and agrichemicals in livestock production systems.


Peter Doherty, Nobel Prize Laureate for Physiology or Medicine–1996, and ILRI patron, on genomics, trypanosomiasis disease resistance, and increasing yields. Filmed in September 2016.

Livestock trypanosomiasis harms rural family incomes as well as Africa's economic development as a whole. In 2010, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners started a research project to breed cattle resistant to the disease.

The livestock sector contributes about 12% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is also a source of employment for many people. But animal diseases such as trypanosomiasis (which is commonly known as Nagana) threaten their production and economic contribution. This disease is caused by Tsetse flies that also cause sleeping sickness in human beings.

Annual Review of Animal Biosciences

Animal Frontiers


Consequence of epigenetic processes on animal health and productivity.


Just as genome editing is a groundbreaking technology with the potential to treat and cure human disease, the applications of genome editing for food, agriculture and animal welfare are at the forefront of tomorrow’s modern agricultural system.

Journal of Dairy Science


The hot topic of genetic modification and genome editing is sometimes presented as a rapid solution to various problems in the field of animal breeding and genetics.


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