Taiwan: Transgenic wood-eating pigs would cut waste

Tunghai University professor Cheng Teng-kuei, known as Taiwan’s cattle cloning pioneer, is working on splicing genes from cellulose-digesting microbes in termite guts into pigs to create wood-eating, environmentally friendly hogs, THU announced July 19.

Cheng said his team at Taichung-based THU has isolated five termite gut bacteria enzymes and has been conducting experiments on rats. The first litters of transgenic rats carrying the enzymes were already born last month, an encouraging first step toward creating transgenic pigs.

Previously, Cheng created the world’s first grass-eating swine by splicing genes from cow stomach microbes into hogs. This time Cheng said his inspiration came from a tree trunk on campus that had been hollowed by termites.

Read the full story here: Taiwan scientist makes advances in transgenic pigs

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