Chinese scientific researchers from the Beijing Genomics Institute have created the first sheep-worm hybrid which resulted in a young lamb they have named Peng Peng. Beyond what might seem like the feeling one might get from playing God, the rationale behind the scientists’ decision to make the lamb is actually for our benefit. As many will probably agree, unless you’re a vegetarian, lamb is truly one of the tastiest meats available to whet our palates but what stops us from devouring it as often as we’d like to, is because it is a very fatty meat. The purpose of Peng Peng’s production was to spawn a new breed of lamb which utilizes a nematode worm and is spliced into a cell taken from the ear of a merino sheep.
After that, the spliced cell is placed into an unfertilized sheep egg which is then fertilized and brought to term by a surrogate sheep. The lamb was born on March 26 and reports indicated that she is fit, well and extremely adorable. For those asking questions about how combining cells from a worm and a sheep would result in less fatty meat, the worm gene is linked to the production of omega3 fatty acids which is actually the ‘good kind of fat’. It is found in nuts, fish and seeds and has long been believed to be healthy for the heart and apparently the brain as well.
The team of researchers which are led by Du Yutao hopes that by implanting the gene into Peng Peng, this variant of healthy fat will be produced so when a sheep from this genetic pool does hit a plate in a restaurant, the carnivore in question would leave with less damage to his heart. I believe that many share my opinion on this when I say we sincerely hope that the group of scientists succeeds in their endeavor and as long as it tastes the same, we won’t have any complaint.
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