Scientists Seeking to Synthesize Human Milk

Scientists Seeking to Synthesize Human Milk
AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

Steve Townsend's daughter was only one day old when she rebuffed a nurse's bottle of baby formula. Townsend's wife, unable to nurse because her daughter was in the intensive care unit for some extra oxygen, was told to try pumping. To Townsend, a chemist on the cusp of a career at Vanderbilt University devoted to understanding and making molecules in breast milk, that moment was firsthand evidence of breast milk's singular value.

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