Investments in agricultural research provide a boost to improve human health. With the sequencing of the swine (pig) genome, there are new opportunities to research with models that are extremely close to the human genome. The pig genome is of similar size, complexity, and chromosomal organization as the human genome and can be useful for human health studies.
USDA invested in the original research to map the swine genome. With NIH funding, scientists at the National Swine Resource and Research Center at University of Missouri, along with medical researchers from University of Iowa, are using the mapped swine genome to create swine models that are available to biomedical investigators. These models provide opportunities to develop cures for cystic fibrosis, lymphocytic leukemia, spina bifida, cardiovascular, and other diseases.