SEOUL, June 8 (Korea Bizwire) – A South Korean research team has successfully cloned a pig with dementia named ‘Jenu Pig’, making the team the first in the world to develop a laboratory animal showing symptoms of the mental illness similar to humans, which will be used as an experimental model in developing a dementia cure.
The team, led by professors Lee Seung-eun and Park Se-pill at the Jeju National University (JNU) Stem Cell Center, was able to produce a clone pig with three genes that cause Alzheimer’s and dementia, and has applied for a patent for their technology, officials revealed on Thursday.
Jenu Pig, whose name comes from the initials of Jeju National University, is the first experimental pig in the world with dementia, according to the research team.
Previously, only international pharmaceutical company Janseen Pharmaceuticals had reported research findings involving a clone pig with dementia. However, as Janseen’s pig only included one type of gene that is an amyloid precursor protein, the JNU Stem Cell Center argues Jenu Pig is the first animal model for dementia research.
“What’s meaningful is that we were able to develop a clone pig with genes said to cause Alzheimer’s and a related type of dementia through the exclusive use of South Korean technology. If we can use the technology to develop cures for dementia and drug screening, it could prove to be of great value both economically and industrially,” Professor Park said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)