Super pigs: CRISPR gene-edited virus-resistant pigs could cut piglet deaths, pork prices

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Scientists have created a new breed of super pigs resistant to a killer virus…

They now have two generations of piglets bred to resist Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, also known as ‘blue ear disease’, which costs the swine industry £120 million (more than $150 million) a year.

Lead researcher Professor Alan Archibald said: ‘In terms of the changes we have made, we have removed a very small piece of the egg genes.

‘We haven’t added anything that wasn’t there in the first place, so consumers have nothing to worry about in that sense.’

To breed these animals, they used CRISPR/Cas9, a carefully targeted enzyme which cuts strands of DNA, to disable a gene called CD163.

Early tests have revealed cells from the pigs are completely resistant to infection by both major sub-types of the disease.

‘The virus kills quite a lot of piglets before they are born, and can wipe out 100 percent of piglets on a farm as they are suckling’, said Dr Christine Burkard, of the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute.

[Read the full study here]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: New breed of SUPER-PIG resistant to a killer virus could see GM meat on sale in the UK in less than a decade