Biologists at Yeadon University Cloning Facility's Technology of Replication (YUCFacToR) have developed a solution to the world's protein shortage.
"Newts are great," said Professor Emma Ritus who headed up the team. "You chop a leg off, and it grows back. Chop all four off and they all grow back, with the added benefit of the not needing a cage for the newt. It stays where you leave it."
The team have used genetic sequencing to isolate the genes responsible for the amazing regenerative capabilities of the newt. Crucially, this uses traditional breeding methods, and required no genetic modification.
"We crossbred newts to get the most rapid regeneration of limbs," said Ritus. "Our original intention was to then splice these genes into chickens, cows, sheep and kangaroos. Maybe even one day, humans."
It was the teams intention to be able to create a lamb that would sit in a field with regrowing legs until they were ready for harvesting. Additionally, they felt that if humans could regrow limbs, teeth, hair, it would be a major discovery. Especially the hair.
"However," said Ritus, "we realised, why try and use genetic engineering to produce a new kind of cow? Newts are very nutritious. 'Newt'ritious! Haha. They have the added advantage of being easy to breed, not genetically engineered, and tasty."
YUCFacToR are aiming to set up a Newt Farm that will produce a whole range of newt based meat products.
"It takes a lot of legs to get a meal," said Ritus, "but fortunately we have a lot of newts."