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Gene found for big, firm sheep rumps

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12:47pm, October 1, 2002

Scientists have found the gene that gives some sheep unusually big, muscular bottoms.

Sheep bearing one gene variant, dubbed callipyge (from the Greek for shapely buttocks), convert food into muscle 30 percent more efficiently than usual, report scientists at the Agricultural Research Service in Clay Center, Neb., and at Duke University in Durham, N.C. The gene may inspire insights into fat metabolism and muscle formation, he says.

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