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Genetic Engineering Results In Cattle Whose Beef Is Rich In Omega-3s

May 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A team of Chinese scientists using genetic engineering techniques has developed a variety of beef cattle whose meat is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, normally found in oily fish. The researchers introduced a gene -- isolated from a nematode worm – that codes for enzymes involved in the conversion of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. The experiments were not without problems, however. Eleven of 14 calves that received the gene (fat1) died before they were four months old from a common cattle infection. Further research is needed to determine the cause, and to perfect the gene transfer process.
Gong Cheng et al., "Production of transgenic beef cattle rich in n-3 PUFAs by somatic cell nuclear transfer. ", Biotechnology Letters, May 11, 2015, © Springer Science+Business Media
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