Despite a resurgence in bacon consumption thanks to Atkins-style diets, the fatty pig’s meat is generally regarded as an artery-clogging cholesterol bomb. That may change in the future, now that scientists have cloned a pig that makes Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids, heretofore only found in fish and algae, fight cholesterol:
For now, the benefits of the research are highly theoretical. Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a lowered incidence of heart disease, are primarily found in fish. No one knows whether they would have the same effect if people ate them in pork instead.
And government approval for such genetically modified foods is certain to face opposition from consumer groups.
Still, some scientists say the findings, published online by the journal Nature Biotechnology, are an important forerunner of things to come…
Alexander Leaf, an emeritus professor of clinical medicine at Harvard, said that he was confident that pork and other foods with omega-3’s would eventually get to American consumers and that they would be better for it.
…What resulted was five white piglets with muscle tissue larded with omega-3 fatty acids. They live at the University of Missouri in individual with fiberglass-railed sides, concrete floors bisected by orange grates for flushing waste, and black foam pads for their beds.
If consumers go for it and these pigs fly, we think the next logical step will be engineering pigs that make their own lipitor.
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