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Grunt work: Scientists decode pig genome

Published on Nov 15, 2012 6:44 AM

PARIS (AFP) - Scientists said on Wednesday they had laid bare the genetic code of the pig, revealing that besides providing ham, bacon and sausages, the domestic swine may also be useful in fighting human diseases.

Pigs and humans share 112 DNA mutations which in Man have been linked to obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, a team from the United States and Europe found.

"We have the chance to study (in pigs) how these genes interact with others to cause obesity, diabetes or other diseases," Mr Denis Milan, head of animal genetics at France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), told AFP.

"This suggests that for some studies, including testing drugs and therapies, pigs may be a useful model for predicting outcomes in humans," added co-author Alan Archibald from the University of Edinburgh.

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