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Researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to create low-fat pork

Chinese scientists inserted mouse genes into pigs to create 12 low-fat piglets. The research team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing uses the CRISPR-Cas9 technique to edit temperature control genes to burn fat more efficiently to create low-fat pork.

Tinuku Researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to create low-fat pork

Pork is the most favorite menu in the world and the food industry has an economic value of trillions of dollars per year. Scientists in Beijing reported having successfully infected mouse genes using the CRISPR-Cas9 technique to create a dozen cold-resistant and low-fat pigs.

Pigs naturally do not have the UPC1 gene to help regulate the temperature. Jianguo Zhao, a biologist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the team took the UPC1 version of the mouse and put it into a pig embryo which was then implanted into 13 pigs. Three of them gave birth to 12 babies.

"It's been a big problem for the pig industry, now pigs can keep their own temperature much better, which means they can survive better in cold weather," Zhao said.

Currently farmers have to spend a lot of money for heating equipment and additional feed to help pigs stay warm in cold weather. This latest effort someday helps farmers save millions of dollars in pork production costs. The researchers report to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Zhao said the engineering pig will control the body temperature more efficiently where production costs are getting cheaper. Not yet known the difference in low fat pork with their peers are still natural, but the meat will be slimmer because the less fat contained.

"The pigs we used in this study are famous for the type of meat quality, we assume genetic modification will not affect taste," Zhao said.

Humans on the planet are projected to reach 10 billion by 2050 and technology must find a way by using modern genetic engineering to help increase the supply of food to fill the growing amount of stomach.


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