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A Bacon of Hope

A visit with Randall Prather, Professor, Division of Animal Sciences

By Sean Powers
Published: - Topics: genes genetic modification cloning pigs organs

Creating Healthy Pork

Topics: cloning pigs

Prather has contributed to research associated with modifying genes to produce healthy bacon. In a study involving the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, researchers transferred a gene known as fat-1 to fetal pig cells. The fat-1 gene creates an enzyme that converts omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, the type of fatty acid known to reduce heart disease and cancer. As a collaborator in the research, Prather cloned the pig fetal cells containing the gene that makes omega-3 fatty acids and creates pigs with their their own omega-3 fatty acids.