Scientists in China and Denmark have formed a consortium to sequence the entire pig genome, reports last week's Science. The partners hope the project - the first of its kind to tackle livestock - will benefit pig-breeding industries in both countries. The information would also help xenotransplantation researchers - the potential use of pig organs for human transplant operations - as well scientists working on human diseases.
The project will involve the Danish Institute of Animal Sciences, the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Denmark and the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. According to BGI director Yang Huanming, the partnership is a 'perfect match' between China's DNA sequencing capacity and Denmark's expertise in pig breeding and genomics research.
Although the scientists involved had wanted to make their data available immediately to the research community, their release will be delayed for several months in order to comply with the wishes of their industrial partners. The final terms of the data release are still being worked out, along with provisions for scientific procedures, intellectual property rights and future partners.
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China,Denmark team up to tackle pig