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Abstract

Genetically modified swine hold great promise in the fields of agriculture and medicine. Currently, these swine are being used to optimize production of quality meat, to improve our understanding of the biology of disease resistance, and to reduced waste. In the field of biomedicine, swine are anatomically and physiologically analogous to humans. Alterations of key swine genes in disease pathways provide model animals to improve our understanding of the causes and potential treatments of many human genetic disorders. The completed sequencing of the swine genome will significantly enhance the specificity of genetic modifications, and allow for more accurate representations of human disease based on syntenic genes between the two species. Improvements in both methods of gene alteration and efficiency of model animal production are key to enabling routine use of these swine models in medicine and agriculture. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 78:879–891, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.