Genetically Modifying Chickens to Beat Bird Flu: Neat Idea, But Will it Fly?

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"I hope, in the long term, that they might encourage people to reappraise the potential that GM offers for this sort of thing," said Tiley.

Cattle genetically engineered for Mad Cow disease resistance also hold promise, according to the FDA.

Although bird flu is not endemic in the U.S., meaning domestic birds don't carry the virus, "free range" farming makes it harder to protect flocks from infected visitors, such as geese.

Lessons from Swine Flu

And although strains visiting the U.S. don't typically infect humans, the 2009 swine flu pandemic is a reminder that the fickle flu virus is constantly evolving, according to Tiley.

"It's not a problem that's going to go away," Tiley said. "It's a problem we need to deal with, and this is one way to do that."

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