Many scientific breakthroughs, including the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming, have occurred by happenstance. This is also true of a new technology that could one day replace the use of antibiotics in livestock, and perhaps even humans, for a variety of pathogenic digestive tract infections.

“We were trying to make animals more sensitive to disease so that we could find a replacement for antibiotics,” says Dr. Mark Cook, a professor of animal science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We had [the answer] in our hands the whole time.”

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