Cloned cows producing human antibodies could soon be drafted into the battle against a wide variety of microbes, including those attractive to terrorists.

James Robl at the Connecticut-based company Hematech and his colleagues used artificial chromosomes and cloning technology to create cattle that contained a full suite of functional human antibody genes.

However before any antibodies the animals produce can be used in patients, the researchers need to knock out the cows’ own antibody genes. This would make it possible to harvest pure human antibodies from the animals.