Sunday, October 30, 2011

Genetically Modified Pigs Could Provide Human Organs by the Year 2013

File photo*

This story is some creepy 1950s science fiction comic book story come to life. Apparently, medical technology will soon be able to grow human organs from genetically modified pigs. There is no way to know what side effects, if any, this science will unleash. However, it may be beneficial to people who otherwise die or be very unhealthy while waiting for a human organ transplant. Only time will tell whether this becomes a viable medical technology.

A persistent shortage of human organs has led experts to investigate methods of using pigs created with human genes, so that body parts grown in them can be harvested for use in patients without their immune systems rejecting them.

The official medical journal is Clinical xenotransplantation: the next medical revolution? and the summary below.

The shortage of organs and cells from deceased individuals continues to restrict allotransplantation. Pigs could provide an alternative source of tissue and cells but the immunological challenges and other barriers associated with xenotransplantation need to be overcome.

Source: Telegraph; The Lancet

*Image Source:
Male Gringo (per Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

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