A study, recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, outlines how a team of scientists from the UK and China used a new gene-editing technique to produce 12 male piglets that "showed an improved ability to maintain body temperature, decreased fat deposition, and increased carcass lean percentage," IFLScience.com reported.
They accomplished this by injecting more than 2,500 pig embryos with a mouse gene called UCP1, which they hypothesized would help the piglets regulate their body temperature. This seemingly small change will hopefully keep pigs from freezing and dying during cold seasons, "in order to help farmers financially with heating and feeding bills."
"This is a big issue for the pig industry," lead researcher Jianguo Zhao told NPR. "It's pretty exciting."
Read more about the study here.