Pig-to-human organ transplants could soon be a reality - RT Viral

Pig-to-human organ transplants could soon be a reality - RT Viral

A team of worldwide science is able to genetically modify the piglets so that their organs are compatible with transplantation on the man, according to an article published Thursday in the american journal Science. "But the use of animal organs such as pig kidneys and hearts is not without serious ethical and biosecurity concerns". Now there are more than 117,000 men, women and children on the donor waiting list in the USA, 22 of whom die each day from lack of a matching donor. The supply is way below the demand and the gap is only expected to grow wider.

"These are the first Perv-free pigs", Dr Luhan Yang, one of the researchers from Harvard University and the spinout company eGenesis, told the BBC News website.

Gene editing has been generating plenty of buzz recently. And regulators require stringent tests in lab primates before a single patient could get a CRISPR'd pig organ; that will take years.

But the prospect also raises thorny questions about animal exploitation and welfare.

When asked about it, Dixon Kaufman, the President of American Society of Transplant Surgeons said that it will only be years before xenotransplantation comes into existence.

However, there's no way those pig organs could actually be transplanted just yet, Ross says. They used a line of pig cells from connective tissue that contained 25 PERVs.

In China alone, more than 300,000 patients are waiting for organ transplants but fewer than 10,000 surgeries are performed each year.

Pig-to-human organ transplants could soon be a reality - RT Viral
Pig-to-human organ transplants could soon be a reality - RT Viral

A study in the journal Science says the research team used a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 on pig cells to inactivate viruses that could spread from pigs to humans, then cloned those cells to generate embryos that grew into full piglets.

Scientists have already implanted cells from pig pancreases into people with diabetes and found no evidence of subsequent PERV infection.

He said viruses are often a stumbling block when it comes to transplanting pig organs into humans, because of the risk they carry of passing on risky retroviruses. This brought the research to an end since these viruses could mean deadly outcomes among transplant recipients.

Gene editing technology has been making waves for the past year for its revolutionary medical promise. But pig organs, in their raw form, can't be transplanted as the human immune systems will reject them.

Notably, teams have been working on interspecies transplants for decades.

One of the obstacles in the idea of using pig organs in humans is the concern that the retroviruses present in pigs may be deadly to humans, or may cause other unwanted consequences such as tumors, immunodeficiencies and epidemics.

But the researchers then used the game-changing gene-editing technology Crispr to delete the 25 Pervs.It then took cloning technology, the same used to create Dolly the sheep, to place the genetic material from those cells into a pig's egg and create embryos.

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