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Pig-to-human transplants come a step closer with new test

Scientists have temporarily attached a pig’s kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work. The feat is a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.

10/20/2021 5:59:00 AM

Scientists have temporarily attached a pig’s kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work. The feat is a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.

Scientists temporarily attached a pig’s kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection.

The dream of animal-to-human transplants — or xenotransplantation — goes back to the 17th century with stumbling attempts to use animal blood for transfusions. By the 20th century, surgeons were attempting transplants of organs from baboons into humans, notably Baby Fae, a dying infant, who lived 21 days with a baboon heart.

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With no lasting success and much public uproar, scientists turned from primates to pigs, tinkering with their genes to bridge the species gap.Pigs have advantages over monkeys and apes. They are produced for food, so using them for organs raises fewer ethical concerns. Pigs have large litters, short gestation periods and organs comparable to humans.

Pig heart valves also have been used successfully for decades in humans. The blood thinner heparin is derived from pig intestines. Pig skin grafts are used on burns and Chinese surgeons have used pig corneas to restore sight.In the NYU case, researchers kept a deceased woman’s body going on a ventilator after her family agreed to the experiment. The woman had wished to donate her organs, but they weren’t suitable for traditional donation. headtopics.com

The family felt “there was a possibility that some good could come from this gift,” Montgomery said.Montgomery himself received a transplant three years ago, a human heart from a donor with hepatitis C because he was willing to take any organ. “I was one of those people lying in an ICU waiting and not knowing whether an organ was going to come in time,” he said.

Several biotech companies are in the running to develop suitable pig organs for transplant to help ease the human organ shortage. More than 90,000 people in the U.S. are in line for a kidney transplant. Every day, 12 die while waiting.ADVERTISEMENTThe advance is a win for Revivicor, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, the company that engineered the pig and its cousins, a herd of 100 raised in tightly controlled conditions at a facility in Iowa.

The pigs lack a gene that produces alpha-gal, the sugar that provokes an immediate attack from the human immune system.In December, the Food and Drug Administrationapproved the gene alterationin the Revivicor pigs as safe for human food consumption and medicine.

But the FDA said developers would need to submit more paperwork before pig organs could be transplanted into living humans.“This is an important step forward in realizing the promise of xenotransplantation, which will save thousands of lives each year in the not-too-distant future,” said United Therapeutics CEO Martine Rothblatt in a statement. headtopics.com

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Experts say tests on nonhuman primates and last month’s experiment with a human body pave the way for the first experimental pig kidney or heart transplants in living people in the next several years.Raising pigs to be organ donors feels wrong to some people, but it may grow more acceptable if concerns about animal welfare can be addressed, said Karen Maschke, a research scholar at the Hastings Center, who will help develop ethics and policy recommendations for the first clinical trials under a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

“The other issue is going to be: Should we be doing this just because we can?” Maschke said.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Read more: The Associated Press »

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Poor 🐷. HealthScience does this make you a cannibal if you still eat bacon? Hopefully it happens. It would bring a new horizon; like vaccines, and penicillin, did. How soon before I can have hooves? I honestly thought they'd been using pigs organs for years - anyone care to correct me ? My Mom had a pigs heart valve. It saved her life. Her valve was not an experiment. Just a little known fact.

Kinda gross tdouglas36 Yay Pigney! No thank you. The spirit of the pig is now in a human? Margaret Atwood, just saying!

Pig kidneys to the rescue? Groundbreaking transplant a step toward solving our organ shortageMore than 100,000 Americans are waiting for an organ replacement. A breakthrough surgery offers hope \nanimals may help fill the void. Hmmm, wonder if bacon tastes better after? nice I'm not going to be the one to tell her when she wakes up.

peta They need to keep working on an artificial kidney. One the body won’t reject! For all those asking about who agreed to this... 'Surgeons attached the pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days.' (Her family agreed to the experiment).

This did this to Rob Schneider like 20 years ago. EvelDick In the 80s doctors put a baboons heart into a baby. The baby died. EvelDick Who said “Why yes, Dr. I would love to try out a pigs kidney! Thank you very much!” 😭😭😭😭😭😂😂😂😂 Good for them, Then they should attach a label for each human “how much human is left unrotten!?”

What?

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I’d imagine one would have to have medications to prevent rejection for the rest of their life. Wonder how much that’d be $usd I once offered to donate my kidney but the pig refused. All I have to say is oink. ursulaleguin you called it and the president just called Afghanistan a game of blood and roses too

'Kidney's working!' Another win For Alex Jones 🤣 Boy, the anti-science folk will love this What happens when all the animals are extinct?

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Human kidneys have regenerative properties, wouldn’t genetic propagation of a natural organ be better?… if your goal is the future. I’m sure with more Genetic Modifications these organs will have the ability to save lives Why would cops donate their organs? How we can deal with Islam and pig's, it's complicated

Ummm…..who is said human How in the hell sis they agree to this? Or did they Lol Hopefully they just sign up pigs that volunteer to be organ donors ɪᴛ ᴀʟʟ ꜱᴛᴀʀᴛᴇᴅ ꜰʀᴏᴍ ᴀ ᴛʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ ᴏꜰ ʟᴇᴛꜱ ɢɪᴠᴇ ɪᴛ ᴀ ᴛʀʏ ᴛᴏ ꜱᴇᴇ ɪꜰ Lisahawthorrne ɪꜱ ʟᴇɢɪᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴡᴀꜱ ʜᴏᴡ ɪᴛ ʀᴇꜱᴜʟᴛᴇᴅ ɪɴ ᴏᴜᴛᴄᴏᴍᴇ, ɪ ᴇᴀʀɴᴇᴅ $25,200 All for life saving treatments but it is gonna take a minute to get used to this one.

Philadelphia has plenty of organs to donate every day with all them murder shooting.. call them

Pig kidneys to the rescue? Groundbreaking transplant a step toward solving our organ shortageMore than 100,000 Americans are waiting for an organ replacement. A breakthrough surgery offers hope \nanimals may help fill the void. Hmmm, wonder if bacon tastes better after? nice I'm not going to be the one to tell her when she wakes up.

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