Flu-resistant chickens under development

The first chickens that are resistant to influenza have been hatched at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

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The first chickens that are resistant to influenza have been hatched at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Wendy Barclay, a professor of virology at Imperial College London who is co-leading the project, said the chickens are missing a gene that influenza viruses need to infect chickens.

The development could put an end to concerns that chickens spread influenza to humans and pigs.

New influenza epidemics have often arisen in Asia where chickens are kept in close proximity to people’s homes.

The research project used CRISPR gene-editing technology that has been used to quickly make significant advances for the livestock and poultry industries.

Among those advances are cattle unable to grow horns, male pigs that can’t reach puberty which is associated with an offensive odour when their pork is cooked and pigs resistant to two types of worrisome viruses.

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