Showing posts with label Pig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pig. Show all posts

Dec 7, 2012

Animal Sounds

Here are some interesting animal tidbits. You can tell a turtle’s gender by the noise it makes. Males grunt and females hiss. Pigs exhibit more than 20 vocalizations for various circumstances. Houseflies always hum in the key of F. Male ostriches can roar like lions. Giraffes have no vocal cords and humpback whales create the loudest sound of any living creature.

Nov 30, 2012

Pig DNA

Scientists announced that they have mapped the entire genome of the domestic pig, revealing that besides providing tasty bacon and sausages, the animal may also be useful in fighting human diseases.

The study published in the journal Nature found that pigs and humans share more than 100 DNA mutations that have previously been linked to diseases like obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, according to US and European researchers.
"In total, we found 112 positions where the porcine protein has the same amino acid that is implicated in a disease in humans," researchers wrote.

Researchers said that because pigs share many of the same complex genetic diseases as humans, the animals would serve as excellent models for studying the underlying biology of human disease.

A domestic pig breed is already being used extensively in medical research because of its anatomical similarity to humans, and pig heart valves have been used by doctors to replace faulty human ones.

Scientists can use the new genome map to improve meat production by breeding a new generation of super-pigs that will grow faster, survive longer, produce more offspring and yield more meat for less feed.

"This new analysis helps us understand the genetic mechanisms that enable high-quality pork production, feed efficiency and resistance to disease," Sonny Ramaswany, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture said, according to Reuters.

Scientists in the sequencing project compared the domestic pig's genome to that of the wild boar, human, mouse, dog, horse, and cow.

A recent study also revealed that pigs had the most olfactory receptor genes, which highlights the importance of smell in the scavenger animal's lifestyle, and that pigs also had fewer bitter taste receptors meaning that "pigs can eat food that is unpalatable to humans," which is one of the reasons why pigs have become such a highly valued farm animal. I am still trying to figure out how they will know if a pig has Alzheimer's.