Scientists announce huge leap toward pig-to-human transplants

GM pigs as human organ donors moves a step closer

One way to make up the deficit would be to transplant the organs from animals such as pigs.

Despite pig organs posing as prime candidates for human transplantation considering their similar size and function, they generally, and unsurprisingly, trigger significant immune rejection responses in humans.

Biotech start-up eGeneisis, one of the leaders of the study, said in a statement: "This research represents an important advance in addressing safety concerns about cross species viral transmission".

If pig organs were shown to be safe and effective, "they could be a real game-changer", said Dr David Klassen, chief medical officer at the United Network for Organ Sharing, a private, non-profit organisation that manages the United States' transplant system.

These PERVs have the potential to infect humans if a pig organ is transplanted into a person, possibly causing tumors or leukemia. In France, almost 50,000 people are living with a transplanted organ; there is a lack 12 000 grafts each year in order to meet the demand.

For decades, scientists have been pursuing the idea of pig transplants.

Harvard University geneticists George Church and Luhan Yang placed edited embryonic cells into a chemical cocktail that encouraged growth and overcame the destructive effect inherent in the modification process. A team of worldwide science is able to genetically modify the piglets so that their organs are more compatible for transplants in humans.

To produce piglets, the researchers then employed a standard cloning technique, inserting the DNA-containing nuclei of these edited cells into egg cells taken from the ovaries of pigs at a Chinese slaughterhouse, which allowed each egg to develop into an embryo and implanted it in the uterus of a surrogate mother. Porcine retroviruses (PERVs) are now one of the big safety barriers preventing us using pigs as organ donors. This enabled them to ultimately breed pigs with virus-free organs. "Pigs' organs are about the same size as human organs, so it's actually ideal for transplantations". Tector says his own team stopped worrying about the viruses years ago, because it is not clear whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will require the viruses to be removed prior to transplantation.

Bruce Whitelaw, from the University of Edinburgh, told the Times: "This tells us we can use these wonderful tools to chop up the genome at multiple sites and it goes back together in the right way".

From about 200-330 embryos per sow transferred across to 17 sows, they produced 37 piglets, of which 15 remained alive up to four months.

Doctors won't have to do much persuasion, however, to get patients to accept organs from another species.

Pigs are already used in the xenotransplantation of the heart valves or of the pancreas.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top United States stocks tumble on North Korea worries
Aug 14, 2017 - 01:24
Inflation has risen 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, suggesting that inflation pressures remain well under control. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Bryce Harper suffers serious injury against Giants
Aug 14, 2017 - 01:13
Major League Baseball was in control of weather decisions because it's the Giants' final trip to Washington this season. The San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals take the field in DC in a Sunday MLB match up.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tottenham win first game of the season against Newcastle
Aug 14, 2017 - 00:51
The game was in dire need of something to liven the affair up, and it didn't take long into the second half for this to happen. However, Newcastle were resolute in their two banks of four, with Spurs struggling to create chances despite their dominance.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Dana White Reveals Controversial Knockdown from Conor McGregor vs. Paulie Malignaggi Sparring
Aug 13, 2017 - 01:12
The sparring partners that were in the house with him were anxious that night, saying he's incoherent, he's stumbling. You gotta respect the guy. "He was knocked down, the ropes kept him up multiple times, he was badly concussed".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Farah exits grand stage with a silver lining
Aug 13, 2017 - 01:12
The four-time Olympic champion failed to mount a third defence of the 5000m as Ethiopia's Muktar Edris claimed gold in London on Saturday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Former Pakistan PM Sharif's wife to contest seat he vacated
Aug 13, 2017 - 01:10
Sharif said he was not seeking restoration but his struggle was to institute "respect for the mandate of the people". He said that he was ousted by 5 judges in just one minute.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Manchester United should not target Danny Rose
Aug 13, 2017 - 01:08
It's all the more impressive given the two separate periods he sat on the sidelines for recovering from ankle ligament injuries. But this season seems different. " There are clearly two egos and a power struggle behind the scenes about what's going on ".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Super-sub Giroud settles thrilling Premier League opener for Arsenal
Aug 13, 2017 - 01:06
One player the Frenchman is backing to adapt to the Premier League quickly is Arsenal's other new summer signing, Sead Kolasinac . They replaced Mohammed Elneny , who had assisted Lacazette to head in the first goal and Rob Holding .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Snapchat's losses soar, user numbers not so much
Aug 12, 2017 - 00:34
On average, analysts anticipate that Snap Inc . will post ($0.56) earnings per share for the current fiscal year. Snapchat's DAUs came in at 173 million, an increase of 7.3 million over the first quarter's 166 million.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hamid Ansari gets a grand farewell
Aug 12, 2017 - 00:33
As vice president, Ansari served as chairman of the Rajya Sabha and presided over the functioning of the upper house. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, welcoming Naidu, observed that the Chair symbolises justice and neutrality.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Why a Russian surveillance plane can fly over Bedminster but you can't
Aug 12, 2017 - 00:30
Open Skies allows for unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of a participating country. Both the USA and Russian Federation are signatories to the treaty along with 32 other nations.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tesla: Self-Driving Semi-Trucks On The Way
Aug 12, 2017 - 00:30
Development of a Tesla truck is already underway, however - it isn't just an electric truck. Self-driving cars, though, have been tested on California roads.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NYPD officer shot in Brooklyn; suspect barricaded in building with rifle
Aug 12, 2017 - 00:29
A man who shot an NYPD officer in Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon is dead from an apparent suicide, officials say. This is an example of the fact that our officers go into any situation and how it might turn on a moments notice.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Glen Campbell's public Alzheimer's battle set his legacy
Aug 12, 2017 - 00:27
The American, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease since 2011, had just released a last album last June, titled Adios. Also featured in the film was the song "I'm Not Gonna Miss You", which Campbell had written and recorded with Raymond.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Five Dead, Dozens Missing After Smugglers Push 180 Migrants Overboard Off Yemen
Aug 11, 2017 - 00:43
Migrant monitoring agencies claim that 111,5000 asylum seekers arrived in Yemen from Africa past year . This year 55,000 African migrants reached Arabian Peninsula through this risky route, IOM said.