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Biotech Medicine

Disease-Resistant Pigs Latest Win For Gene Editing Technology (reuters.com) 125

schwit1 writes with news that using gene editing technology researchers have bred pigs that do not produce a protein necessary for the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus to spread. According to Reuters: "A British animal genetics firm, working with U.S. scientists, has bred the world's first pigs resistant to a common viral disease, using the hot new technology of gene editing. Genus, which supplies pig and bull semen to farmers worldwide, said on Tuesday it had worked with the University of Missouri to develop pigs resistant to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSv). The condition, also known as blue-ear disease, can be fatal as it affects the animals' immune system and costs farmers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. There is no cure. By using precise gene editing, the team from the University of Missouri was able to breed pigs that do not produce a specific protein necessary for the virus to spread in the animals. Their research was published in journal Nature Biotechnology."
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Disease-Resistant Pigs Latest Win For Gene Editing Technology

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  • This probably is the first step down the road that leads to this. [giantbomb.com]
    • now the pigs will take over everything.

    • I for one welcome our new bacon-flavored overlords

    • they say human meat tastes like pork... Maybe they'll breed us for food instead.

    • . . . "The Walking Dead: Special Pig Episode" . . . Oink, oink, arrrrrgggggh . . .

    • This probably is the first step down the road that leads to this. [giantbomb.com]

      There is another aspect to this. It proves that we in the US cannot be taught by experience, should have been obvious by the shipment of GMO corn that was refused by China but I figure they will sell it to the people in the US up to the point they figure out how to market cardboard at McDonalds.

      • by mlheur ( 212082 )
        I'm not a fan of editing individual genes.  In OOP, classes have private members that are accessed through get & set routines.  Any programmer knows that you don't hack your way into an instance and modify a private member outside of its set routine.  Sure most of time thing.setx(y) is just thing.x=y, but when it's not, all hell can break loose downstream and you might not know why.  We understand this for computing, why do we not understand this for life?
        • I'm not a fan of editing individual genes. In OOP, classes have private members that are accessed through get & set routines. Any programmer knows that you don't hack your way into an instance and modify a private member outside of its set routine. Sure most of time thing.setx(y) is just thing.x=y, but when it's not, all hell can break loose downstream and you might not know why. We understand this for computing, why do we not understand this for life?

          Point was that it was not profitable on account that the masses treat it like voodoo and probably believe that it is a passive aggressive attack on their country. Not much point to it if it doesn't sell but they still continue on with the research. Something like this may not show an error for generations and no one wants to discover that down the road after the genome has cross pollinated and/or produced offspring and self destructed the species or worse yet the species that ate it.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          This isn't programming. This is editing a save file.

          Find a save file with tetrachromacy. Run a diff between that and a normal save file. Delete the unwanted overlap. Insert the tetrachromacy code. You "should" end up with a genetic identical to the start save file, aside from tetrachromacy.

          Repeat with whatever previously identified traits you want, and you build a super-save-file.

          You can also do the reverse. Identify a disease sequence. Identify the associated sequence from a healthy save file. R
  • to the complaints that this pig will kill us all because it doesn't have something and there hasn't been enough testing of how not eating a specific protein and ...
    • Re:Countdown ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @06:49PM (#51091681)

      I think that's a valid concern. They say this:

      By using precise gene editing, the team from the University of Missouri was able to breed pigs that do not produce a specific protein necessary for the virus to spread in the animals.

      But what's the purpose of that protein in the animal? Surely the only purpose of that protein is not to allow the virus to spread, or else you think that would have a habit of being selected out of the lineage. Surely it has some beneficial purpose that has ensured it stays part of the animal. It seems a little too easy to remove disease by just deleting the part of the animal that the disease uses.

      • 8 minutes, give or take a few seconds. Thanks.

        If the pigs don't survive better without the protein, then the improvement will fail in the marketplace. The evaluation of "better" includes balancing the lifespan of the pigs against the death rate of the pigs and the disease. Given that a pig intended for food doesn't need a huge lifespan to begin with, the result will be biased to "fewer dead from disease".

        But the complaints about GMO that I was referring to have nothing to do with the life of the O, but th

        • I am kosher, so I don't eat pig to start. I don't tell people that they shouldn't eat pig. And if I did eat pig, I would likely not eat this pig.

          The problem for me is that the "Unknown" value of the particular gene is "unknown". We know the value in removing it, but not cost involved. There are always tradeoffs, and the unknown tradeoff for me wouldn't be worth it.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I don't know if the "unknown" means anything. Let's say it does. Are you going to only eat 100% pure foods? Basically distilled water and nutritional supplements? I'd wager that any meal you have outside of such processed goods, are just full of unknowns. Bugs in peanut better. Sausage. Did you know there is orange juice in Mountain Dew? That is some of the more common knowledge. Even among the different grains used to make your breads, do you know which grains and if they are all 100% pure? I'd dare say no

            • You saying you'd eat Monsanto Corn with bio-engineered pesticides built in because you don't really know if it will kill you so you'll assume it won't? And you are saying that the bees disappearing is a complete coincidence to the introduction of mass deployed crops that have said pesticides built in? Because Monsanto said it was safe?

              Just wondering where you draw the line, if at all?

        • I see what you're saying, I'm more concerned about the pig than the human though.

          Given that a pig intended for food doesn't need a huge lifespan to begin with, the result will be biased to "fewer dead from disease".

          Understandable, assuming that this is only ever provided to pigs that are going to be slaughtered. Otherwise it kind of feels like developing a cure for cataracts simply by modifying the body to not produce eyes. I doubt it's as dramatic as that, the reason I wanted to post in the first place is the complete lack of information about the specific protein other than apparently it is the protein whose job it is to make sure the

          • Re:Countdown ... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @07:29PM (#51091909)

            the complete lack of information about the specific protein other than apparently it is the protein whose job it is to make sure the pig can get a virus.

            No, it is not the "job" of that protein to make sure the pig can host the specific virus. The virus needs that protein to reproduce. Your statement is like saying that the job of a window is so that thieves can break into houses through them.

            The protein was there for some other purpose, but apparently since the pigs don't seem hurt by it not being there, it's a truly vestigial remnant of pig evolution.

            • The protein was there for some other purpose, but apparently since the pigs don't seem hurt by it not being there, it's a truly vestigial remnant of pig evolution.

              That's what I was getting at - the reporting completely left out all details. I don't know if it's vestigial or not, that's why I'm wondering what the purpose is. The person who replied below seems to have more information about the specific protein though.

              • Re:Countdown ... (Score:4, Insightful)

                by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @09:28PM (#51092553)

                That's what I was getting at - the reporting completely left out all details.

                And what I was getting at was that were this specific protein important enough to the life of the pig, then the modified pigs will not survive the market. Farmers aren't going to try raising pigs that won't live long enough to make it to the butcher. They won't buy the modified pigs, and this will become an interesting footnote in the history of gene editing.

                But once again, it doesn't matter what the pig thinks about it. You care more about the pigs than the people who eat them, I get it. But the standard argument against GMO is not what it does to the O, it's what effect that O has on the people who eat it.

                We have a very very long history of people who eat NO pork. Thus we can be sure that pork that doesn't have a specific protein will NOT have any negative effects on people who eat it, because there are no significant negative effects on all the people who already don't eat it.

                I don't know what the "guy below", whoever you are referring to, is talking about. If it's the guy who is talking about blowfish toxins, well, now we can talk about when pigs swim instead of when pigs fly.

                • There is no way to know from the limited information in the article if the protein is important or not, or even if it is porcine, or some gene inserted from a virus. I know Humans have 30 copies of the gene for Reverse transcriptase, an emzyme only used by retroviruses,

                  Farmers are pretty conservative, Mega-Ag can do a lot of advertising and social-validation campaigns that make it seem like everybody is jumping on the new latest-greatest thing, but Farmer's tend to wait until the County Extension Agent can

              • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
                So you are assuming that everything must have a purpose. Allow me to introduce you to my mother-in-law.

                Some things are mildly superfluous, like the spleen. Others are completely superfluous, like the appendix and coccyx. To assume everything isn't superfluous until proven otherwise would be a illogical as assuming the opposite.
            • the complete lack of information about the specific protein other than apparently it is the protein whose job it is to make sure the pig can get a virus.

              No, it is not the "job" of that protein to make sure the pig can host the specific virus. The virus needs that protein to reproduce. Your statement is like saying that the job of a window is so that thieves can break into houses through them.

              The protein was there for some other purpose, but apparently since the pigs don't seem hurt by it not being there, it's a truly vestigial remnant of pig evolution.

              This!

              Every animal, every plant carries DNA, everything carries proteins. And they can modify via mutation in very similar ways - human intervention or not. There are a lot of genes and proteins that don't have much use, perhaps they did at one time. And viruses often need those genes or proteins to reproduce.

              Plus not all animals under completely normal (read non human intervention) have identical gene expression. This is a fundamental process that leads to evolution.

              This difference in expression of

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by nospam007 ( 722110 ) *

                "There are a lot of genes and proteins that don't have much use, perhaps they did at one time. And viruses often need those genes or proteins to reproduce"

                Exactly! IOW they just patch an ancient vulnerability and the malware has no chance anymore.

                • "There are a lot of genes and proteins that don't have much use, perhaps they did at one time. And viruses often need those genes or proteins to reproduce"

                  Exactly! IOW they just patch an ancient vulnerability and the malware has no chance anymore.

                  Damn - that's a really good analogy!

          • Re:Countdown ... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Chikungunya ( 2998457 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @08:00PM (#51092073)

            CD163 is a relatively well described protein with very detailed functions, mostly on innate immunity. Fortunately innate immunity have many kinds pathways that interconnect and supplement each other (probably because pathogens are very good at interfering with them) so blocking one pathway at the beginning, like in this case, would have very little effect overall and interleukin 6 and 10 (and the rest of the cascade) will be still produced. For the virus of course this lack of CD163 its lethal, but for the pig it may at much represent slightly increased rates of infections of other pathogens, many of those are no longer important since the pigs are not in the wild anymore.

        • What do you know anout what people are arguing?
          Considering that your rant implies that you have no clue about GMOs, I really wonder with what right you do judge Zealots?
          99% od the anti GMO front only want two things:
          a) don't let get GMOs go wild
          b) lable food that contains GMOs

          For some strange readon the GMO Mafias pull every string availbale to prevent those two things becoming law.

          No go figure ....

          • Re:Countdown ... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @08:26PM (#51092225)

            Mandatory labels should only be required in cases where there is an actual known problem with something. Voluntary labels can be used right now. In fact, one of the things I had for dinner had a little 'non GMO' label on it. The only reason the anti GMO nuts want mandatory labels is so they can use them to spread FUD.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              As long as you don't know that there is no problem a mandatory label is what the citizens want. Not giving them that behave handwaving like you is a violation of basic human an civil rights.
              I for my part wont eat any GMO food (if I know it is GMO at the first hand), regardless of true or perceived danger until the GMO MAFIA stops interfering with citizens and customers wishes to have said food labeled!

              The only reason the anti GMO nuts want mandatory labels is so they can use them to spread FUD.
              No, they want

              • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

                Except that you don't know there is no problem with ANYTHING. Therefore that is an impossible request. And, as I pointed out, you CAN buy stuff that explicitly marked non GMO, so if you are so paranoid about it eat only that stuff or stuff labeled organic. Nobody is forcing you to eat anything.

                • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
                  The GMO-Nazis claim here that GMOs have been proven 100% safe. So the GMO-Nazis should argue with the GMO-Nazis until you are in agreement which choice-hating stance you prefer.

                  And until the labeling is mandatory, it's rarely regulated. So you can have non-organic GMO food labeled "organic" without violating any rules or law. Organic isn't defined in law. No, you can't fraudulently put a 3rd party certification of organic on it you didn't earn, but that's a different thing. I haven't looked at whether
              • Re:Countdown ... (Score:4, Insightful)

                by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @10:15PM (#51092793)

                As long as you don't know that there is no problem a mandatory label is what the citizens want.

                You cannot prove a negative, so you are demanding the impossible. Can you prove that crops raised by left-handed Methodists do not cause cancer? If you want to avoid GMO, then you are free to buy any of the thousands of products voluntarily labeled "non-GMO". But you have no right to use the force of law to impose your anti-science agenda on others.

                • Exactly.
                  Hence we need it labled, pretty simple.
                  Waiting till a definite problem is known, is to late...

                  But you have no right to use the force of law to impose your anti-science agenda on others.
                  Why do you consider your right not put a label on it higher than my right to put a label ln it?

                  So you nave a right I don't have? That is bollocks.

                  Why do you actually care if my wish/demand is followed? Are you a multi billion investor into GMOs? No? So why do you care and limit my liberties? You gain nothing if my dem

                  • Exactly. Hence we need it labled, pretty simple.

                    By that argument you just have to label everything, since you can't prove that there is no problem with any of our foods... nearly all of which have been extensively genetically modified via selective breeding within the last few decades. Many of them with mutagen-enhanced selective breeding, which is far scarier than carefully targeted genetic editing.

                    • By that argument you just have to label everything, since you can't prove that there is no problem with any of our foods

                      Rot. If people have been stuffing themselves with something since horny hats were all the rage then we know.

                      nearly all of which have been extensively genetically modified via selective breeding within the last few decades.

                      Choosing the fattest & most docile pigs to breed from is one thing, but all the champagne & chocolates in the world would not cause one to screw a glow worm.

                      Chan

                    • Rot. If people have been stuffing themselves with something since horny hats were all the rage then we know.

                      But they haven't, that's the point. Fruits and vegetables in particular have been very heavily modified.

                      Choosing the fattest & most docile pigs to breed from is one thing, but all the champagne & chocolates in the world would not cause one to screw a glow worm.

                      Cross-species gene transfer is common. Mating is far from the only mechanism to achieve it.

                      Changing the source and recompiling isn't the same as poking around in the binary.

                      To use your analogy, gene editing is changing the source and recompiling, while selective breeding (especially mutagen-enhanced selective breeding... you do know what that is, right? Dosing individuals with high levels of mutation-inducing chemicals or radiation to accelerate the process?) is akin to randomly flippi

                  • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

                    Again, you can't say that ANYTHING has 'no problems'. So why single out GMO as requiring labeling? Do you think that the organic sprouts you buy today have the exact same genome as those which you bought last year, or that next year will be the same as this year? If so, you are an idiot. If not, then why don't THOSE genetic differences require a label?

                    In this case you say that we don't know there aren't any problems with the modification, so it must be labeled. That means you must think there is a chanc

                  • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

                    You seem to be confused. Your lack of critical thinking ability is probably tied to your diet. I'd start taking some supplements or something.

                    The phrase "your rights end where mine begin" applies here. You have a right to know what you're eating, but you have no general right to force anyone to tell you. If you want to be sure, grow your own food.

                    • If you sell me stuff, I definitely have the right that you honestly tell me what is inside and don't sell me intentionally or inintenionally something I don't want.

                      However you live in a world where the only consumer rights seem to be: free refunds afte XMass. Luckily in my world food vendors are already oblieged to label most GMO food. You, see: I have that right. But you have not. That you don't want the same rights I have, is beyond me :)

                    • If you sell me stuff, I definitely have the right that you honestly tell me what is inside and don't sell me intentionally or inintenionally something I don't want.

                      No, you don't. You have the right to buy what you want, and you have the legal right to not be lied to about what you're buying. However, they aren't under an obligation to tell you absolutely everything. If they don't want to tell you the exact temperature that can of beans was pasteurized at, and you really want to know, they can either tell you or not. If them not telling you is a deal-breaker for you, then don't buy it. In addition, how can you demand that they not unintentionally sell you something you

                    • If they don't want to tell you the exact temperature that can of beans was pasteurized at, and you really want to know, they can either tell you or not.
                      This has nothing to do with GMO ingredients.

                      Regarding the right, yes I have it. There are basic human right charters, you know. It is not explicitly mentioned that I have a right to be not touched by GMO but it is a no brainer and easy conducted from all health related and life quality rights. E.g. I have the freedom to chose if I eat pig or not. Hence food

                    • If they don't want to tell you the exact temperature that can of beans was pasteurized at, and you really want to know, they can either tell you or not. This has nothing to do with GMO ingredients.

                      Correct, but it does have to do with your claim that you "have the right that you honestly tell me what is inside and don't sell me intentionally or inintenionally something I don't want". It's a comparison.

                      Regarding the right, yes I have it. There are basic human right charters, you know. It is not explicitly mentioned that I have a right to be not touched by GMO but it is a no brainer and easy conducted from all health related and life quality rights. E.g. I have the freedom to chose if I eat pig or not. Hence food contains labels: contains meat or products from pigs. Why should GMO be different?

                      It's not a no-brainer. If you're in public, you don't have a right to not be touched by a GMO. You have the right to decide whether you want to eat GMOs, of course, but nobody said they have to make it easy for you. You also have the right to not eat food prepared by anyone who's left-handed or has red

              • The problem with a label like "No GMO" is that it isn't just a statement of fact that there aren't any GMOs in the product. You don't voluntarily put labels on a product with negative information. Putting "No GMO" on some products is the equivalent of putting "GMO" on all of the GMO products since the lack of a "No GMO" label implies a GMO product. The "No GMO" label implies that it's somehow better than the GMO counterpart. This would be a false claim unless you can show it to be true. Therefore, the
              • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

                You already have a choice: buy some farm land and grow your own damn food.

              • As long as you don't know that there is no problem a mandatory label is what the citizens want. Not giving them that behave handwaving like you is a violation of basic human an civil rights.

                No, it isn't. If you choose to buy something that doesn't say whether or not it's made with GMOs - something which has been approved by your local regulatory agency - that's your choice. Your rights are not being violated. If you want to know, buy something that tells you one way or the other. Your complaint is analogous to someone complaining that they don't know what fields the wheat in their bread came from.

                Furthermore, I'm not choosing what you should eat for you. You are doing that, and there are optio

            • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
              Mandatory labels shouldn't include ingredients lists, or nutritional information then. But The People want them. Why do you hate democracy?
              • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

                Nice strawman, take long to construct? In case you didn't know, there are actual problems associated with poor nutrition, which is why we have mandatory nutritiion information. And there are actual problems with some ingredients, such as allergies and sensitivities, which is why the ingredients are listed.

                But there are an awful lot of things that 'people want to know' that are NOT mandatory. These are not mandatory because there are no known health issues associated with them. This includes things like:

                • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

                  But there are an awful lot of things that 'people want to know' that are NOT mandatory.

                  Again, "the people" want something that you don't think they deserve to know. Why don't we just bypass the whole democracy thing, since you find it inconvenient, and appoint you Benevolent Emperor (we hope) for Life?

                  As you say, people want to know. And it does no harm to "know", yet you are opposed to information and democracy. Yes, I know you'll object. But with my tone and implications, not with the facts. Your opinion doesn't trump fact. The Fact is, people want ingredients listed. And we have it

          • "What do you know anout what people are arguing?"

            It's been a good news/bad news week for leftists. You're celebrating killing off the Thirty Meter Telescope, but now we're giving you GMO pigs to have a whole new set of nightmares about.

            • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
              The left want the science of the telescope to go ahead. It's the conservative loonitarians who think eminent domain shouldn't be used against private land owners.

              You should have used "liberal" The definition has been reduced to "anyone I don't like", with no regards to politics or anything else.
              • Eminent domain is not a factor in the TMT controversy. The TMT was supposed to be built in a public reserve area administered by University of Hawaii, specifically for astronomy.

          • What do you know anout what people are arguing?

            Ummm, because I read their arguments. I know what the standard arguments against GMO are because they come up every time some new GMO issue comes up.

            99% od the anti GMO front only want two things: a) don't let get GMOs go wild b) lable food that contains GMOs

            So you are completely ignorant of the arguments they make in support of those demands. Why does food made with GMO need labels? It's not because they worry about how great the GMO products will be for them, it's because they think they will be harmed by them and don't want to eat them.

            For some strange readon the GMO Mafias pull every string availbale to prevent those two things becoming law.

            There is no law against labeling products that either do or do not contain

            • There is no law against labeling products that either do or do not contain GMO components. You don't need a law to do it.
              Ofc you need a law.
              Or how to get labes on the GMO food?
              If people don't wan't to eat it, but have no chance to figure which produces contain GMO food, you obviously need a law.
              That is a no brainer. If there wasn't an pro GMO MAFIA lobbying your law makers, you had laws demanding labels since 25 years.

              But good luck with your anti social attitude. Why do you care what other people want if it

              • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

                No, you do NOT need a law. There are labels RIGHT NOW, with no law, that explicitly state either non GMO or Organic. Use your brain for a change and make the giant leap that everything NOT so labeled is GMO. Is that really so hard?

                Again, the push for labels is NOT so people who want to eat only non GMO foods can do that (they can already do that if they are capable of thought), it is to spread FUD. The anti GMO nuts think if they get the labeling it will scare everyone off of GMO (why would they have to

                • I doubt that all non GMO Food is labeld "non GMO".

                  And as foreigner in the US, how should I know that?

                  , it is to spread FUD. The anti GMO nuts think if they get the labeling it will scare everyone off of GMO

                  You are thinking that not they. Big difference.

                  And Europe spends TWICE as much on food as a percentage of income than the US does.
                  Yes, because we like qualitiy food. Or because the average income is lower :D You see, comparing averages with averages makes no sense. But keep ranting.

                  And THAT is the reason

                  • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

                    So what if not all non-GMO food is labeled? Nothing is stopping the manufacturers from labeling it as such. If enough people cared about non-GMO then there would be a significant economic benefit to labeling.

                    Are you seriously suggesting the US should change its labeling laws to please FORIEGN anti-GMO nuts? No thanks.

                    I would back off my claims of FUD if one of the antis would ever give a reason that did not involve FUD. Every one of their reasons is some sort of restatement of 'They could be dangerous,

              • If people don't want to eat it, they can buy the stuff that's labeled "GMO free". If they want to eat it, they can buy something that's labeled as containing GMOs. If they don't care, then they'll buy something with a label one way or the other, or no label. If enough people don't want to eat GMOs, then companies will - and do - make products that don't contain them, and market them as such.
                • If enough people don't want to eat GMOs, then companies will - and do - make products that don't contain them, and market them as such.
                  This is obviously not true, as 90% -- depending on country -- of the populace don't want GMO food. Companies don't care as long as they make a profit. Especially in the USA.

                  • If enough people don't want to eat GMOs, then companies will - and do - make products that don't contain them, and market them as such. This is obviously not true, as 90% -- depending on country -- of the populace don't want GMO food. Companies don't care as long as they make a profit. Especially in the USA.

                    [citation needed]

                    In the US, there are tons of products that say "GMO free" on them. Some people buy them for various reasons, most of which I disagree with, but they're perfectly within their rights to do so. Plenty of other people don't care one way or the other, and don't look for the label.

      • What the fuck does it matter if cook a nice pork roast in my oven at 160F?

        • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

          Well, to start with we couldn't really find the gene that made the protein so we took a handful of genes from another animal that didn't have the protein and just threw them in the pot at random until we got a pig that didn't have the protein and survived for more than a few seconds out of the womb.

          As a side effect, female pigs will now have to be slaughtered by extremely well trained butchers under precise conditions, since if the ovaries are nicked they will flood the rest of the body with a deadly neurot [wikipedia.org]

      • by Anonymous Coward

        " Surely it has some beneficial purpose that has ensured it stays part of the animal."

        Yeah... same as your appendix, wisdom teeth, coccyx, body hair, among other parts of YOUR body . You MUST have them. They're CRUCIAL to your survival.

      • It seems a little too easy to remove disease by just deleting the part of the animal that the disease uses.

        It depends on the path the disease is using. Think about blood type receptors and immune system response. IE this technique will probably work great on some diseases, and not at all on others.

      • you think that would have a habit of being selected out of the lineage.
        Why should it?
        As long as the animal can breed before it dies, thare is hardly any selective pressure.

      • Humans with a deletion in CXCR5 are resistant to HIV infection. Their immune systems don't work *quite* as well in a few situations - parasitic infections, if I recall correctly - but mostly, they're fine.

        Some genes encode receptors that are mostly redundant - other pathways can compensate for them if they're gone. I haven't looked at what they deleted, but my guess is it's one of those receptors. Will the pigs be as healthy as their counterparts without gene editing? I don't know, but my guess is that th
    • to the complaints that this pig will kill us all because it doesn't have something and there hasn't been enough testing of how not eating a specific protein and ...

      I find this and all the hoopla about GMO's pretty entertaining. On one hand we are worried sick that GMO that produces extra things will kill us and in this case we are worried that something being missing will do the same.

      All this fear is unfounded if you consider how protein is actually metabolized. What really matters is that the protein gets decomposed by your digestive tract into individual amino acids. So unless there is some kind of amino acid not in the provided protein, it doesn't really matter

      • I find this and all the hoopla about GMO's pretty entertaining. On one hand we are worried sick that GMO that produces extra things will kill us and in this case we are worried that something being missing will do the same.

        Fear of the unknown, and refusal to learn. All of these differences in gene expression can and do happen through normal reproduction. Lack of this protein is probably what infers a "natural" immunity in the first place. I'm not certain what the denialists think confers immunity.

        tl;dr version. If a person doesn't like this sort of thing, only eat pigs that died of PRRS. Oh - and figure out some way to prevent genetic variability.

      • So we can just synthesize that protein in a lab and add it back to the meat during the curing stage. Everybody is happy.
  • so can we make chickens and pigs that don't get the flu? cause i'm sick of getting the flu (pun intended)

    • so can we make chickens and pigs that don't get the flu? cause i'm sick of getting the flu (pun intended)

      Well.. Get your flu shot sicko, it works for me.... I haven't had a serious case of the flu for about 5 years and I figure it's because I get the shot every year for medical reasons (a member of my immediate family takes immune suppressants).

      • I do get flu shots, employer has them provided at work for free

        but, they don't always work. two years in the last five they were against wrong strains

      • I never had the flu, and I never had a flu shot.
        I figure it is because I live healthy and had luck in avoiding places/situations where people with the flu hang out to long.
        Perhaps you should fugure how a flu shot works?
        As long as you are mot an elderly or in an high risk environment (or a pandemic is brooming on the horizon), flu shots are pretty pointless.
        It is like running a virus scanner on a PC without internet connection, no CD, Floppy and USB drive.

        • Oh I understand how they work, but I do them for reasons other than keeping myself from getting sick, though that's a side affect. Studies have shown that even flu shots which are not properly targeted, do usually help to lower the severity of the sickness and help it to not last as long, reducing the chances of transmitting the virus to others. I get the shot in the hope I will be less likely to carry home the flu and pass it on to the member of my family who would have their life put at risk if they get

          • My PC is a Mac. And it is behind a decent firewall. And I don't click on atachments (which usually would not open anyway as they target Windows), besides that, no ine except me has access to my Macs.

            Regarding your shots, it would make more sense to give your family members, those about whom you are afraid, those shots.

            Unless: there is a really hard medical reason.

            Besides the strains issue: most likely around you there is not even flu happening, this year or the next. So depending on your general health you

            • Everybody in the household gets them and yes, it's for hard medical reasons. The one who has the compromised immune system gets the enhanced version of the shot as well, but the danger is still real so we all must be careful for their sake.

              Eventually your Mac will acquire a virus, you should be ready to find and deal with it. Right now you are relatively safe because Mac's are a fairly small market share and has a very tightly controlled ecosystem, and you have good hygiene habits apparently (like washi

              • See, would have been easier for all of us to tell us you have hard medical reasons. Your first post looke pretty advertizing for needless shots. E.g. no in my circles of friends or family ever had a flu. On the other hand we have something like 10,000 flu deaths every year. I personaly would wait with a shot, till I see a reason.

                Regarding my Mac(s) to get a Virus on them you need an attack vector. There is hardly any ... There are no services running, so when I'm in an open WLAN, you would need to have a ve

                • You didn't read the whole thread eh?

                  I haven't had a serious case of the flu for about 5 years and I figure it's because I get the shot every year for medical reasons (a member of my immediate family takes immune suppressants). (Wednesday December 09, 2015 @06:18PM)

        • First, our species is social so avoiding places with people (people with the flu go everywhere) is impractical and you can get the flu from things touched by people (have you ever ordered something off the internet?) without ever actually meeting people. Second, you've either been incredibly lucky to have never contracted influenza, or you live in denial. Third, waiting for a pandemic before getting a vaccination won't work because there won't be enough vaccine available on short notice (companies won't sto

          • Stuff you order via the internet can not infect you.
            Under normal circumstances flu viruses 'die' after a few minutes.
            Bonus points when you figure why 'die' is placed in quotes.
            I know for sure that neither I nor a close relative nor a close friend ever had any flu.
            Most things you consider 'the flu' is just a 'comon cold'.

            But thanx about your concerns about me ;)

            • Yes, pathogens can be transmitted by packages and packaging delivered by mail/UPS/FedEx from internet purchases. In fact influenza viruses don't die after a few minutes, influenza virus persists on environmental objects 5-15 days or longer depending on temperature, humidity and etc. If you need the references, let me know. The colder it is, the longer the influenza virus persists, which is a contributing factor to pandemics in winter. Your reference to "die" is because a minority of scientific authorities a

              • Yes, pathogens can be transmitted by packages and packaging delivered by mail/UPS/FedEx from internet purchases. Of course they can. Just send some rotten meat.

                In fact influenza viruses don't die after a few minutes, influenza virus persists on environmental objects 5-15 days or longer depending on temperature, humidity and etc.
                For all practical purpose: they don't

                If you need the references, let me know.
                Yes, would be funny to see what "lab conditions" are necessary to let them survive longer than a few

  • no win.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @08:42PM (#51092325) Journal

    Maybe the pigs wouldn't be getting the diseases in the first place if they weren't kept cheek-by-jowl in their own filth, in pens where they can't even turn around.

    But have no fear, now that there are laws against taking pictures of factory pig farms and the horrific conditions the animals are kept in even from public property, we're all going to be more safe because of genetic engineering.

    http://www.greenisthenewred.co... [greenisthenewred.com]

    https://www.aspca.org/animal-c... [aspca.org]

    • Maybe the pigs wouldn't be getting the diseases in the first place if they weren't kept cheek-by-jowl in their own filth, in pens where they can't even turn around.

      But have no fear, now that there are laws against taking pictures of factory pig farms and the horrific conditions the animals are kept in even from public property, we're all going to be more safe because of genetic engineering.

      http://www.greenisthenewred.co... [greenisthenewred.com]

      https://www.aspca.org/animal-c... [aspca.org]

      You realize that pigs are rather cruel mean and violent creatures? try talking to folks that work on pig farms, in the good old days before "industrial" farming one of the daily chores was to count the pigs in each open pen. The reason you had to count was because the pigs would constantly nip and bite each other if they sensed any weakness, and if they ever broke skin they could and would eat an entire pig in a day. A large part of the 'cruel' conditions pigs are kept in today revolve around things like ke

      • You realize that pigs are rather cruel mean and violent creatures?

        Wouldn't you be? And let's be honest, when it comes to cruel, mean and violent, pigs can't hold a candle to humans.

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