Fact Box: ‘Pig 26’

Scientists who created Dolly (the cloned sheep) bring GM food a step closer by producing a pig that is immune to disease

  • The piglet, known as ’Pig 26′ created via a process called ‘gene editing’ at Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute.
  • Technique quicker and more effective than existent methods of cloning
  • It is immune to African swine fever which can kill within 24 hours of infection
  • The technique can be used on a fertilized egg without the need for cloning techniques.
  • The gene was taken from wild African pigs.

What is the benefit of development of this piglet ‘Pig 26’ ?

  • Scientists looking for modes to feed the ever rising population
  • It is conceived that the development of piglet ‘pig 26’ , could pave the way for future development of GM meat.
  • This could lead to production of giant pigs, hens and cattle made disease resistant using genes from baboons.
  • Also, it is now hoped that other livestock such as cattle and sheep immune to a host of diseases, could be produced with the technique.

What is main argument against the use of this technique in producing GM based meat?

  • The argument from critics for the use of this technique to produce GM based meat is based on the on the use of the genes which they fear could lead to crucial drugs turning ineffectual.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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