n. A scientist who creates pharmaceutical products by incorporating modified DNA into the cells of a plant or animal.
Showing that a good pun sticks, PPL's route into the pharmaceuticals market is generally called "pharming". The company is far from the only "pharmer" out there.
It's not a long leap from what's going on in research — a flounder gene in a tomato, for example — to chilling sci-fi combinations. Critics label the products "Frankenfood" and manufacturers "pharmers."
Animals with human genes aren't a novelty. Over the last few years gene splicers have, for instance, created sheep with human growth hormone and pigs with insulin in their blood. But harvesting the drugs requires killing the animals — a waste of the effort and expense it takes to engineer them. So when, in 1987, researchers slipped a human gene into mice so that they produced a human protein in their milk, "molecular pharmers" saw their chance.