'Alzheimer' Piglets Earn Science Accolade

DENMARK - The birth of the world’s first cloned piglets with genes for Alzheimer’s disease have won an award for Denmark's best scientific breakthrough of the year 2007.
calendar icon 10 January 2008
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The piglets, produced by scientists at the University of Aarhus and University of Copenhagen, were born in August 2007 at the Research Centre Foulum at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Aarhus. Their purpose is to help medical research into this debilitating and mysterious disease. They will be used to investigate the complexities of dementia, to establish causes, early symptoms and methods for prevention It is hoped the pigs part in the research programme will eventually lead to improved medication and hopefully a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Transgenic piglets born at Foulum's Faculty of Agricultural Sciences signify a breakthrough in medical research into Alzheimer's.

The pigs are biotechnological novelties. They are a world first and were created by combining front line biotechnology. The piglets are genetically identical transgenic, clones and all carry a human gene for Alzheimer’s disease.

The project is a joint collaboration between the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Aarhus and the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

The production of more cloned, transgenic pigs with an Alzheimer gene are planned. The revolutionary cloning technique developed by the international scientist Gábor Vajta while at the University of Aarhus has proved efficient and highly successful.

This award, presented by the Danish magazine 'Ingeniøren' recognises the value an importance of this scientific breakthrough.
Other nominated projects included the oldest DNA yet discovered, creation of the solar system and nanoparticles made of gold.

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