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Crop Biotech Update

CAS Scientists Develop Low-Fat Pigs

October 25, 2017

Chinese scientists have successfully developed low-fat pigs using gene editing. The result of the study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to the research article, scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing used CRISPR-Cas9 to replace a protein in pigs that makes them susceptible to cold, leading to production of more body fat. They inserted a similar protein coming from mouse as replacement of the pig protein, leading to improved ability to maintain body temperature, decreased body fat (24% less than usual), and increased percentage of lean muscle. The scientists developed low-fat pigs to help pig farmers produce animals that would be less expensive to raise and would suffer less in cold weather.

Read the research article in PNAS.