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Scottish Scientists Create Virus-Resistant Pigs

Scottish Scientists Create Virus-Resistant Pigs

Pigs. (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 February 2017 05:57 PM

The animal sciences institute responsible for cloning Dolly the sheep in 1996 has now created genetically engineered pigs that are resistant to a deadly viral infection.

Scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland were able to identify and remove a gene from pig embryos that harmed the animals' immune cells. Pigs later born with the gene removed from their DNA are immune to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).

The findings were published in the scientific journal PLOS Pathogens.

The PRRS virus first surfaced in the 1980s, according to the study results, and the U.S. pork industry loses more than $650 million each year because of it.

The genetically modified pigs have given birth to other pigs that are also immune to the infection that kills piglets, leads to breathing issues in adult pigs, and prevents females from breeding.

"The pigs were healthy under normal husbandry conditions and other biological functions conducted by the CD163 were found to be intact," the study results read. "We isolated a variety of monocyte and macrophage cells from these pigs and found them to be completely resistant to PRRSV infection."

The Roslin Institute cloned Dolly the sheep 20 years ago, but the future of cloning mammals remains unclear.

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The animal sciences institute responsible for cloning Dolly the sheep in 1996 has now created genetically engineered pigs that are resistant to a deadly viral infection.
scottish, scientists, create, virus, resistant, pigs
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2017-57-28
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 05:57 PM
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