Engineering Healthier Bacon
It's a typical morning at the Broadway Diner, where Mary Nirmaier sits down to her usual breakfast which includes bacon.
"I used to get two pieces, but I just get one now," she explained because she's trying to eat healthier.
We've been warned our whole lives about eating too many fatty foods, like bacon. But, if we could make eating a piece of bacon as healthy as eating a piece of salmon, for example, we could enjoy bacon guilt-free.
That's one reason Russell Prather, an MU reproductive biologist, is teaming up to genetically re-engineer pigs and the fat they produce.
"One of the questions we had is, can we get these Omega Threes from some place other than fish, which is the main source for Omega Threes," he explained.
Prather's team created a gene construct, then put it in pig cells. The first piglets with the modified gene were born last November. But, don't look for Omega Three bacon at your grocery store just yet. That's still years away. But, if healthy bacon succeeds commercially, Prather said scientists could start researching the same effects in beef and chicken.