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Sequenced Pig Genome Could Help Combat Human Diseases

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the giant-book-that's-written-inside-you dept.

Biotech 64

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists announced Wednesday that they have mapped the entire genome of the domestic pig, revealing that besides providing tasty bacon and sausages, the animal may also be useful in fighting human diseases. The study published in the journal Nature found that pigs and humans share 112 DNA mutations that have previously been linked to diseases like obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, according to US and European researchers. Researchers said that because pigs share many of the same complex genetic diseases as humans, the animals would serve as excellent models for studying the underlying biology of human disease."

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Glad to see more work in this realm (2)

Kotoku (1531373) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989453)

Glad to see more work in this realm, as we already have seen a high organ compatibility with pigs it seems that we know a number of building blocks are already shared. With this kind of information we should be able to better isolate and (ethically) create both genetic changes and medicines to treat these diseases that would potentially hold a high efficacy in humans.

Re:Glad to see more work in this realm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41989719)

I agree. I am interested on the social reaction, to see if the use of pig in medicine is welcomed by non-pig enthusiasts. If it happens to be quite effective for treating for serious diseases, will anti-pig sentiment be ignored in the face of saving lives? or will they scream for a non-pig solution. I'd love to listen to that debate.

Re:Glad to see more work in this realm (2)

Kotoku (1531373) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989789)

Hmm, I suppose that since primary objections relate to ingestion that at least non-oral treatments/medicines would already be fairly unobjectionable. Now if oral medicines are biologically derived and cannot be done so without the pig as an intermediary...then yes that would be an interesting predicament for some .. folks. Not me though, just hide the pill in a sausage and I'll be a test subject.

Welsh boxer (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990799)

You can take this insulin (made from pigs), or you can die of diabetes.

Evolution in action.

Re:Welsh boxer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41994299)

Most insulin being administered to diabetics these days is "human" biosynthetic insulin created using recombinant DNA technology rather than the old method of using pig insulin.

-Type 1 diabetic here.

Re:Glad to see more work in this realm (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989875)

Maybe they could also work on letting us grow our own personal supply of bacon for when we go camping, or can't be bothered going shopping.

Re:Glad to see more work in this realm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42015917)

oh yeah, i can't wait to be mandated by the POS's at the CDC to be injected with some big pharma half-assed mutant pig cure for something that would have given me a mild headache otherwise.

Explain why honey boo boo's mom squeels like a pig (0, Offtopic)

starworks5 (139327) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989471)

http://youtu.be/-XSq0PvVxMs?t=1m12s

Re:Explain why honey boo boo's mom squeels like a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41993731)

http://youtu.be/-XSq0PvVxMs?t=1m12s

Well, that's the strangest thing I've seen so far today. WTF.

Pigs...is there anything that can't do?! (1)

bgibby9 (614547) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989481)

Yet another reason to love the pig!

Re:Pigs...is there anything that can't do?! (1)

boudie2 (1134233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989845)

All that AND you can make footballs out of them.

Re:Pigs...is there anything that can't do?! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989981)

All that AND you can make footballs out of them.

Can you play football if you wear gloves?

Re:Pigs...is there anything that can't do?! (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990415)

Goalkeepers usually do.

Re:Pigs...is there anything that can't do?! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990815)

FOOTball. You touch it with your feet, which are encased in shoes. Bloody idiots, the lot of you.

Re:Pigs...is there anything that can't do?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41991635)

The ball is 12 inches long, hence a FOOT ball. Fucking ignoramus, the lot of you.

Delays (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989499)

... Researchers would have finished the work sooner, but they were just so damned tasty.

pigs and humans share 112 DNA mutations (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989515)

great! So you say there's nothing wrong in behaving like a pig..

Obesity? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989533)

Surely Obesity in a pig is a good thing?

Re:Obesity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41990061)

Not really: a bit of fat is nice, but you want plenty of muscle.

Humm.. So we share the same diseases (-1, Troll)

sakari (194257) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989543)

Wonder why ? Maybe us eating pigs for the last oh-how-many-hundred-years might have something to do with it ?
Wouldn't it be easier to treat these diseases by not eating the pigs in the first place ..

You are what you eat. If we eat disease carrying pigs, we become those pigs. Have you seen some of the people who eat a lot of pig ? Their faces even start to resemble the animal.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989563)

It's not the eating, it's the living conditions. We've kept pigs sheltered enough that they can experience the same problems as us, and suffer the same consequences. In a less safe environment, avoiding defects like obesity would be a much stronger selective pressure—but that's not a big deal in a pig pen.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41989675)

Pig pens today are not what you'd like to imagine they are. Go watch a video on youtube for a dose of reality.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989965)

Pig pens today are not what you'd like to imagine they are. Go watch a video on youtube for a dose of reality.

You peeg!

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41991425)

No matter how unhealthy it is, factory farming doesn't involve predators, running, or starvation. Moreover, that's way too recent of a change for it to have an appreciable impact on the course of evolution.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989725)

It's not the eating, it's the living conditions. We've kept pigs sheltered enough that they can experience the same problems as us, and suffer the same consequences.

Hang on, lady! Don't blame me!
Maybe others do, but I swear I don't let (other) pigs on my couch in my basement... is barely large enough for myself!

(grin)

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989953)

It's not the eating, it's the living conditions. We've kept pigs sheltered enough that they can experience the same problems as us, and suffer the same consequences.

Hang on, lady! Don't blame me!
Maybe others do, but I swear I don't let (other) pigs on my couch in my basement... is barely large enough for myself!

(grin)

It sleeps on the floor and eats French toast. What could go wrong?

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989975)

It's not the eating, it's the living conditions. We've kept pigs sheltered enough that they can experience the same problems as us, and suffer the same consequences.

Hang on, lady! Don't blame me! Maybe others do, but I swear I don't let (other) pigs on my couch in my basement... is barely large enough for myself!

(grin)

It sleeps on the floor and eats French toast.

Naaah... can't do. Too many empty beer bottles on the floor (belches)

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about a year and a half ago | (#41995969)

It's not the eating, it's the living conditions.

Well that's a fair argument.

Human conditions have LOTS in common with modern pig-farming.

- High-Density living
- insufficient fresh-air and sunshine
- insufficient exercise
- fast food
- excessive amounts of food
- complete lack of varied diet
- high-stress
- excessive use of antibiotics

Sure some of us don't spend our days up to our elbows in shit, but that's ONLY SOME OF US.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41996303)

You're missing a few, which are more important to evolution:

- lack of natural predators
- low diversity in diseases
- abundantly available shelter
- no physical fitness required to obtain food

This basically amounts to little or no evolutionary pressure. As with any organism, their chromosomes are free to mutate and diversify as long as it doesn't get them killed, and there's a lot more leeway for livestock than wild animals.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (3, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989689)

Wonder why ? Maybe us eating pigs for the last oh-how-many-hundred-years might have something to do with it ? Wouldn't it be easier to treat these diseases by not eating the pigs in the first place ..

You are what you eat. If we eat disease carrying pigs, we become those pigs. Have you seen some of the people who eat a lot of pig ? Their faces even start to resemble the animal.

How would you explain jewish and muslim people that are still obese/diabetic/etc even they didn't eat pig meat?

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41992629)

nah its cuz pigs are a genetically modified cross between wild boar and and human DNA(done by a previous civilization). Pigs were essentially the donor animals to grow whatever new organs a person needed. So when you're eating bacon... you're eating people.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989811)

I don't think genetics work the way you think they work. Eating something doesn't give you the traits of that something, contrary to the popular belief in certain tribes.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (2)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989903)

Well, actually.. looky here [discovermagazine.com] .

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990033)

Woah... so although you don't actually "take" part of the rice's genetic code as yours, eating rice may alter the way genes activate ... in a way that makes you get an extra dose of "bad" cholesterol. I suppose it's good that I don't eat too much rice, then.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990155)

Yep and perhaps if we eat the same foods as another species, we're more likely to develop similar problems.. I don't know. It seems a very immature field of study, but it certainly is interesting :)

They eat a lot of rice in Japan and that's one of the countries with the longest average life spans, so I don't know if the issue is all that simple. They do tend to eat smaller portions over there though. Personally I'm quite happy to go on eating rice for the moment.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41996913)

well, do wild boars have these gene traits?
do lost tribes with no agriculture have these traits?

btw, there's a +correlation between how long a population has depended on a certain food (i.e. rice), and the percentage of that population that has developed an allergy to said food. "The prevalence of IgE- mediated rice allergy is about 10% in atopic subjects in Japan. The frequency of rice allergic reactions is much lower in Europe and the USA." the west a problem with wheat.

Re:Humm.. So we share the same diseases (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990843)

Your attempt at humour was a bit of a boar.

Amazing what they can do now adays (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41989597)

mapped the entire genome of the domestic pig,

I know that forensics has advanced, but to map the genome of Muhammad. This may reveal insights into psychotic behaviour, violence and delusion.

How on earth.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41989815)

...do you diagnose dyslexia in pigs?

Re:How on earth.... (4, Funny)

srussia (884021) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989887)

...do you diagnose dyslexia in pigs?

They make a weird "knoi-knoi" sound.

Re:How on earth.... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41989941)

...do you diagnose dyslexia in pigs?

They make a weird "knoi-knoi" sound.

Telling "knoi-knoi" jokes?

112 DNA mutations that have previously been linked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41989969)

That's all very interesting, but I'm quite curious to see how they're going to test for dyslexia in pigs...

Re:112 DNA mutations that have previously been lin (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990909)

Obviously, you start by teaching them to read.

It's tiring doing all the thinking sometimes.

animals share our genome - and our feelings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41990065)

so after this ordeal it is even more obvious that the body of a pig and a human are so much alike that treating them as objects is insane

a mature pig is as intelligent as a 3 year old child, and they shows the same feelings and needs as humans do
as humans we thus have the plight of treating them humanely, avoid causing fear, stress or pain just as we would fellow humans

it is absolutely essential for our survival as a species to understand that meatconsumption has to be decimated, and that many diseases are caused by meateating, most notably pigs meat as normal farm pigs get extreme amounts of medicine to survive their cramped living

being a vegetarian or vegan is nowadays easy and affordable, with plenty of resources and support, and a good start could be a weekday vegetarian as shown in this TED talk http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_weekday_vegetarian.html

Re:animals share our genome - and our feelings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41992535)

Well if you want people to eat less pork I have a Modest Proposal that I think may interest you...

Forget human diseases! (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990191)

we need better sausages! Use the knowledge about pig DNA to improve the flavour of bratwurst...

Re:Forget human diseases! (1)

boristdog (133725) | about a year and a half ago | (#41991059)

I can't wait for Frankenbacon!

Somehow those diseases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41990305)

were incorporated into human by eating pig.

pigs and humans share 112 DNA mutations that have previously been linked to diseases like obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's

How they know if a pig has dyxlesia ?.

You are what you eat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41990343)

With myself being so damn tastey, fat, diabetic, and don't read too good.

Once we get the cow genome worked out.. (1)

Chardansearavitriol (1946886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990351)

We'll be able to breed cows that give bacon. ...I wonder if someone following a kosher diet could eat that...

Laughable Slashdot sociopaths (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41990387)

The usual 'animals are toys for humans to do what they wish with' banter from the emotionally immature Slashdot crowd. Do animals feel pain? Why is your life worth more than a pig's?

How embarrassing for all of you, not an ounce of compassion between you. Vivisection is medical fraud.

Re:Laughable Slashdot sociopaths (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41993855)

The usual 'animals are toys for humans to do what they wish with' banter from the emotionally immature Slashdot crowd. Do animals feel pain? Why is your life worth more than a pig's?

My life is worth more than a pig's because I am not a pig.

How embarrassing for all of you, not an ounce of compassion between you. Vivisection is medical fraud.

We could use dogs, which as I understand it lead to modern organ transplants in humans. I suppose you'd prefer we had no such thing as organ transplants or that the experimentation was done on humans?

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Demikhov [wikipedia.org]

Viruses jumping species (1)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#41990419)

Cool. So pigs will be the petri dishes to test new medical treatments. This will end well.

Middle management? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year and a half ago | (#41991075)

How many genes did they find in common with middle management? Can they cure that?

Re:Middle management? (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about a year and a half ago | (#41995855)

How many genes did they find in common with middle management? Can they cure that?

Did you mean 'cure' in the food sense or in the medical sense?

mmmm, wood-smoked management-middle!

spam text (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41993435)

Hell, TracFone sends me so many texts, it fills up my phone to the max (limit 30 texts) and my friends can't text me.

Sequenced pig? (1)

MakyoDetector (943246) | about a year and a half ago | (#41993619)

Will it help us design better human centipedes?

I'm concerned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41993787)

They're wasting otherwise perfectly good sources of bacon for this. We need to put a stop to it RIGHT NOW!

The new Egg-laying Wool Milk Pig: Film at 11:00 (1)

dublin (31215) | about a year and a half ago | (#41994943)

Sounds like a step towards a real-life Eierlegende Wollmilchsau [google.com] , the ultimate all-purpose farm animal!

Mmm, genome (1)

frisket (149522) | about a year and a half ago | (#41994993)

Apart from the genetic advance, anything which improves an already tasty animal is welcome.

That explains it! (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41995083)

So that's why pigs are fat, its a genetic disorder.
Does this research also mean they could make people taste like bacon?

Dang cockroach (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about a year and a half ago | (#41995121)

If that thing hadn't gone extinct, we might have identified the gene for being radiant by comparison. Wilbur remains a mystery.

Yes But What About .... (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about a year and a half ago | (#41995897)

(cue drumroll)

The Homosexuality Gene?

EVA? (1)

FOXIELOXIE (1411665) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999265)

EEEVA! Don't Understand? RTFA. Or, well, look at the images anyway. Still don't get it? Watch WALL-E.
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