Project will help experts 'build' more tasty pigs

US - Max Rothschild has been trying to "build" a better pig for almost 30 years, since he took a job cleaning up after the hogs at his alma mater, the University of California at Davis.
calendar icon 31 May 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

He's now a renowned swine scientist who has traded the dirty pigpens of his undergraduate days for a glistening Iowa State University laboratory dedicated to producing tastier chops, safer pork and healthier pigs.

Rothschild is part of a national collaboration that earlier this year received a $10 million federal grant to map pig genes. Researchers from the University of Illinois-led project promise it will help take the guesswork out of breeding.

The idea is to find and exploit the genetic variations of the best pigs, which Rothschild and like-minded agricultural researchers say will radically change the industry.

Already, chicken and cow genomes -- complete genetic maps of each species -- have been published, and race horse breeders have applied to the National Human Genome Research Institute for a grant to run an equine DNA sequence. Most animal genetic sequences now are done with the support of the institute because of its expertise, and comparing animal genomes to the human genome helps with medical research.

Source: Business News

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