GMO Fitness For Pigs – Now 24 % Less Fat

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Scientists created genetically modified pigs with 24 % less fat than a regular one.

 

New research from China and Britain showed that with the help of genetic modification pigs can better regulate their body temperature and burn fat.

Naturally, pigs don’t have a gene to produce brown fat that helps most mammals burn energy and don’t get cold. That’s why they even could die from cold stress.

The Chinese research team decided to insert a mouse version of the gene into embryonic pig cells to decrease lack of protein, known as UCP1.

At 6 months old the brown fat pigs have 24% less fat than a regular pig. Despite they do not weigh much less, the ratio of meat and fat is much higher.

Bacon to be a diet product?

Generally, there were 13 attempts to change the genes of piglets while they were embryos and only three successful. The grown-up pigs have had 24% less fat than unmodified animals.

The researchers say their technique could help pigs stay warmer, grown up faster and healthier, all while reducing costs for breeders.

But these piggies are probably not coming to market. Moreover, the ethics of creating genetically modified animals is the subject of many discussions. There are already many laws that forbid the usage of such animals for food in many countries, including United States. On the other hand, in China these experiments are possible and even welcomed.

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