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Modified Pig Approved

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a genetically modified pig that could potentially be used for organ transplants and produces meat that can be eaten, CNN reports.

"Today's first ever approval of an animal biotechnology product for both food and as a potential source for biomedical use represents a tremendous milestone for scientific innovation," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn says in a statement.

The pig, developed by Revivicor, has been modified to lack the alpha-gal sugar, which can trigger allergic reactions, CNN adds. According to the Verge, alpha-gal syndrome in which someone develops a meat allergy can arise following a lone star or deer tick bite. By lacking the alpha-gal sugar, the pigs, dubbed GalSafe, could be used to make safer medical products like heparin or in organ transplants, as well as potentially be safer for eating, it adds. 

According to CNN, the company Xenotherapeutics is conducting a Phase I safety trial of using skin grafts from GalSafe pigs to treat burn victims with alpha-gal allergies.

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.