CRISPR-ier bacon

  • #1
jim mcnamara
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We already have really good insight article on the CRISPR:
https://www.physicsforums.com/insig...chnologies-wont-lead-designer-babies/']crispr-new-gene-editing-technologies-wont-lead-designer-babies/[/URL]

This NPR article is about Chinese research creating GMO pigs with less fat due to improved circulation of body heat:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt...chnologies-wont-lead-designer-babies/']crispr-bacon-chinese-scientists-create-genetically-modified-low-fat-pigs[/URL]

GMO products will probably never be accepted in the US largely because of the Frankenfood political movement. In other places this may become a big deal, both in terms of lower- fat pork production and less cold stress on the pigs themselves during winter.

Which raises a question - when traveling abroad, people, particularly from the First World countries who have strong beliefs against some agricultural process like GMO, how do they fare food-wise? It must be a real challenge.
 
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Borg
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My first thought on this concerns viruses. I'm probably going to mis-state this a bit but pigs are a known mixing ground for human and avian flu strains. It makes me wonder how increased body temperature would affect gene transfer between viruses and whether these types of pigs could increase the likelyhood of a dangerous strain being created. I don't know if or how temperature affects gene transfer in viruses though.
 
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Which raises a question - when traveling abroad, people, particularly from the First World countries who have strong beliefs against some agricultural process like GMO, how do they fare food-wise? It must be a real challenge.
Even the differences between what Europeans want to eat and what the US allow to produce is so big (GMO corn, hormones, chlorine on chicken etc.) that even this is very problematic, the more as both markets aren't very good at what has to be declared on the wrapping.
 
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jim mcnamara
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@Borg - the body temperature is warmer because of better circulation, not a warmer base body temp - per the article above.

@Greg Bernhardt - yup fat is the taste that carries most of bacon flavor. About 25% less fat in the pork. Does that == less 25% less taste? Probably not it just recduces the fat that cooks out in the pan and there is less fat left in the cooked and eaten portion...

@fresh_42 I've seen some of the kind-of equivalent EU documents like the USDA nutrient database and NSF's nutrient RDA tome. They do not diverge all that much. And references for the RDA book do use some research from outside the US, as far as I can tell. The USDA has oversight on much of the nutrient db research. To me, the divergence seems to be in food processing - ex: bacteriostatic preservatives appear to be allowed or not allowed - which IMO has a political component everywhere in the world. And then labeling requirements as you indicated.
 
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Borg
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@Borg - the body temperature is warmer because of better circulation, not a warmer base body temp - per the article above.
If the viruses were operating in cooler areas due to poor circulation and you improve the circulation so that the overall body temperature is warmer, doesn't that still leave the viruses in a warmer environment on average than they were before?
 
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They do not diverge all that much.
This depends on what you're looking at. As far as I know we don't allow growth hormones in cattle whereas the US does. Most people don't want to buy GMO plants of any kind, whereas in the US it appears to be normal to offer modified soybeans or corn. At least this is what's been told in the media. The usage of antibiotics is another matter of concern, basically to all of us. And there are some products, which aren't allowed in the other direction. Surprise eggs are the most famous example. We also eat "hidden" alcohol in pralines. Not sure about US regulations though.
To me, the divergence seems to be in food processing
Depends on where you start with the term "processing". GMO plants are at a pretty early stage of processing, same with the hormones.

I think it is less a political issue as it is a matter of fears. One cannot fight fear with arguments, the more as there are usually not enough independent long term studies available. I only wanted to stress that you don't have to look at the differences between the US and China. The differences between the far more closely related cultures of North America and Europe already provide significant differences.
 
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Ygggdrasil
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Note: CRISPR (which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is misspelled in the thread title.

GMO products will probably never be accepted in the US largely because of the Frankenfood political movement. In other places this may become a big deal, both in terms of lower- fat pork production and less cold stress on the pigs themselves during winter.
More than 90 percent of corn, soybean, cotton, canola and sugar beet acreage in the US is GMO (https://gmo.geneticliteracyproject....ally-engineered-crops-are-approved-in-the-us/). However, GMOs do face significant opposition and regulation in the US. As stated in the NPR article, the approval of genetically modified salmon by the US FDA took decades.

My first thought on this concerns viruses. I'm probably going to mis-state this a bit but pigs are a known mixing ground for human and avian flu strains. It makes me wonder how increased body temperature would affect gene transfer between viruses and whether these types of pigs could increase the likelyhood of a dangerous strain being created. I don't know if or how temperature affects gene transfer in viruses though.

In humans, some studies suggest that lower body temperatures promote viral replication (https://news.yale.edu/2015/01/05/cold-virus-replicates-better-cooler-temperatures), though the phenomenon is still not so well understood. Definitely more testing should be done to see how the increased body temperature affects the pigs.

@Borg - the body temperature is warmer because of better circulation, not a warmer base body temp - per the article above.

The article does not talk about any changes to circulation. The pigs have better heat regulation because the researchers inserted a gene called UCP1, which literally helps the mitochondria inside of the pigs' cells burn fat to produce heat. See the associated paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science:
Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is responsible for brown adipose tissue-mediated thermogenesis and plays a critical role in protecting against cold and regulating energy homeostasis. Modern pigs lack functional UCP1, which makes them susceptible to cold and prone to fat deposition and results in neonatal mortality and decreased production efficiency. In the current study, a CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination-independent approach was established, and mouse adiponectin-UCP1 was efficiently inserted into the porcine endogenous UCP1 locus. The resultant UCP1 KI pigs showed an improved ability to maintain body temperature, decreased fat deposition, and increased carcass lean percentage. UCP1 KI pigs are a potentially valuable resource for the pig industry that can improve pig welfare and reduce economic losses.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/10/17/1707853114
 
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  • #9
jim mcnamara
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Thanks for UCP1 link. Fixed spelling errors.
 

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