Researchers have cloned transgenic pigs that produce high levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids - essential fatty acids found in fish oil that have been linked to potential human health benefits. According to the advanced online report in Nature Biotechnology, pork from these pigs could provide an alternative dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids."It is a significant advancement for cloning technology application, [with potential for] improving pork meat quality for human consumption," according to Xiangzhong Yang of the University of Connecticut, who was not involved in the study.Like humans, most livestock animals eat plenty of omega-6 fatty acids but lack an enzyme that converts these to omega-3s, said Yifan Dai of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, senior author of the new study. In a 2004 paper, Jing X. Kang of Harvard Medical School and colleagues inserted the C. elegans enzyme fat-1, which converts omega-6 to...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!