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Scientists decode Wilbur's DNA

three pigs.jpg

New treatments for obesity, heart disease and skin disorders could be developed as a result of an international consortium's success in mapping the genome of a domesticated pig, reports Reuters.

A majority of the sequencing was performed by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, a UK-based genome research organization. In discussing how the pig genome project will benefit the biomedical community, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute director Alan Archibald said:

This sequence provides a tool of real value in helping the research community to better understand human diseases, in particular by facilitating cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and immunological studies.

Pigs join a growing list of mammals whose genetic makeup has been decoded. Scientists have also decoded the genomes of dogs, chimps, rats, mice, cows and humans.

Photo by Garrulus

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