Transgenic mice were engineered to carry both optimized fat-1 and fat-2 genes from the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans and are capable of producing essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids from saturated fats or carbohydrates. When maintained on a high-saturated fat diet lacking essential fatty acids or a high-carbohydrate, no-fat diet, the Omega mice exhibit high tissue levels of both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, with a ratio of ~1:1. This study thus presents an innovative technology for the production of both omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, as well as a new animal model for understanding the true impact of fat on human health.
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