Pigs Are Just Like Us, Researchers Say

By Andrew Greiner
|  Monday, Nov 2, 2009  |  Updated 7:20 AM CDT
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Pigs and humans share similar DNA.

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Think twice before you eat that next piece of bacon.

The swine's not so different from the sapien says a group of scientists, including a team from the University of Illinois, who have decoded pig DNA.

Those similarities make the pig the ideal animal for studying health and lifestyle issues, says Larry Schook, the biomedical science professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign, who led the project.

That's because pigs and humans are similar in size and makeup, and swine are often used in human research.

Their research may one day prove useful in finding new treatments for both pigs and people, and perhaps aid in efforts for a new swine flu vaccine for pigs.

Researchers announced the results of their work today at a meeting in the United Kingdom. Schook says they'll spend the meeting discussing ways to use the new information.

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