Genetically engineered anything usually makes me gag. But a report from Nature Biotechnology got me salivating: heart-healthy bacon from cloned pigs.
In the most spectacular feat of swine science since Arnold Ziffle learned to communicate with humans, researchers have produced pigs that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids — a kind of healthful fat abundant in fish but not naturally found in meat.
Omega-3s are thought to fight heart disease and various immune disorders, possibly even Alzheimer's. The American Heart Association recommends at least two weekly servings of fish, particularly fatty fish like trout and salmon, which are naturally high in omega-3s.
Researchers are hoping to do the same with chickens and cows.
But hold your arterial glee: food safety fears and the federal approval process may prevent the modified meat from showing up at Fred Meyer any time soon.
And, as the Los Angeles Times reports, no one has yet sampled the pigs to see if they taste like pork.
Nature Biotechnology's report, released over the weekend, is available for a price.
Such research isn't limited to meat. The Associated Press reports:
The cloned, genetically engineered pigs are the latest advance in the agricultural biotechnology field, which is struggling to move beyond esoteric products such as bug-repelling corn and soy resistant to weed killers.
Hoping to create healthier, cheaper and tastier products that consumers crave, Monsanto of St. Louis and its biotech farming competitors like DuPont are developing omega-3-producing crops that yield healthier cooking oils.