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Randy Prather

Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Biotechnology
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Animal Sciences
573-882-7446
PratherR@missouri.edu

Areas of Expertise

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Biography

Prather, Randy

MU animal scientist Randy Prather, a national leader in cloning research, is cloning pigs by nuclear transfer, taking nuclei from cells grown in the laboratory and fusing them with unfertilized eggs from which the chromosomes have been removed. By genetically altering the cell line before the nuclear transfer, this technology will allow scientists to make specific genetic alterations in swine, then disseminate the improved genetics through conventional breeding methods.
Potential benefits are manifold both in pork production and human health. Genetically engineering pigs could be resistant to disease, grow faster, and be more healthy to consume. Pigs are an excellent model for many human diseases. Genetic engineering to replicate human mutations, such as cystic fibrosis, have in some cases made the pig the species of choice to study certain human diseases. Additional genetic engineering will make pig organs that are not rejected when transferred to humans. Prather heads up the National Institutes of Health funded National Swine Resource and Research Center at the University of Missouri.

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