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Researchers discover the Schwarzenegger of sheep

16 September 2002: A mutant gene that dramatically increases the size and muscling of sheep buttocks has been identified by researchers in the United States.

The breakthrough could be a boon for meat producers, as the legs and buttocks produce the most valuable sheep meat.

Research published in Nature Magazine this week, says Callipyge sheep have been bred with legs like Olympic sprinters, with no fat, and lots of muscle.

Researcher Professor Randy Jirtle from Duke University told Michael Condon, the sheep are up to 50 per cent more efficient in converting feed to meat, but that could have drawbacks. "Thirty to 50 per cent, I mean it's massive. If they were people they’d look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. They're big, and all muscle.

"If this mutation was present in humans, then what you would look at would be sprinters. You might have trouble catching them."

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