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Worm is 'key to healthier bacon'

by 5m Editor
24 November 2006, at 11:53am

CHINA - A microscopic worm may be the key to heart-friendly bacon. Geneticists have mixed DNA from the roundworm C. elegans and pigs to produce swine with significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids the kind believed to stave off heart disease.

Researchers hope they can improve the technique in pork and do the same in chickens and cows. In the process, they also want to better understand human disease.

"We all can use more omega-3 in our diet," said Dr. Jing Kang, the Harvard Medical School researcher who modified the omega-3-making worm gene so it turned on in the pigs.

Kang is one of 17 authors of the paper appearing on Sunday in an online edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology.

The cloned, genetically engineered pigs are the latest advance in the agricultural biotechnology field, which is struggling to move beyond esoteric products such as bug-repelling corn and soy resistant to weed killers.

Source: China Daily

5m Editor