FARM AN­I­MALS MAY SOON GET NEW FEA­TURES THROUGH GENE EDIT­ING

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Cows that can with­stand hot­ter tem­per­a­tures. Cows born with­out pesky horns. Pigs that never reach pu­berty.

A com­pany wants to al­ter farm an­i­mals by adding and sub­tract­ing ge­netic traits in a lab. It sounds like sci­ence fic­tion, but Re­com­bi­net­ics sees op­por­tu­nity for its tech­nol­ogy in the livestock in­dus­try.

But first, it needs to con­vince reg­u­la­tors that gene-edited an­i­mals are no dif­fer­ent than con­ven­tion­ally bred ones. To make the tech­nol­ogy ap­peal­ing and to ease any fears that it may be cre­at­ing Franken-an­i­mals, Re­com­bi­net­ics isn’t start­ing with pro­duc­tiv­ity. In­stead, it’s in­tro­duc­ing gene-edited traits as a way to ease an­i­mal suf­fer­ing.

“It’s a bet­ter story to tell,” said Tammy Lee, CEO of the St. Paul, Min­nesota-based com­pany.

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