This week research appears to show exhibit the possibility of longevity of organs transplanted from genetically engineered pigs. Monkeys were given kidneys by scientists from the following animals, in this process some of these animals were able to live one to two years. The team stated that numerous genetic changes were evaluated in this current study in order to work on pig-to-human transplants and make them a practical treatment to be tested in clinical trials. This one is about the merger of pig genes and human biology.
Animal-to-human transplantation, also known as xenotransplantation, has emerged as a possible method of alleviating the ongoing shortage of donor organs. The goal is that by modifying pig genes to make them more compatible with human biology, their organs will be tolerated safely by the recipient’s immune system.
Early human experiments of the method involved either brain-dead patients (with their families’ approval) or living but terminally ill patients who are ineligible for conventional transplants. This research discovered that organs can be transplanted and remain functional for up to two months without being rejected by the body.
The researchers behind this new study are from Harvard Medical School and the biotech firm eGenesis. They contend that larger-scale clinical trials will necessitate breeding pigs with organs that are demonstrably capable of withstanding tests in nonhuman primates for longer durations. And their results, which were released in the journal Nature on Wednesday, seem to support the possibility of such pigs.
Yucatan miniature pigs were developed with up to 69 distinct genetic alterations by the researchers. These modifications included inserting human genes to increase compatibility and wiping out genes from ancient retroviruses inserted specifically for pigs. Then, the researchers implanted these organs into cynomolgus monkeys, giving some of the monkeys’ organs from pigs that had undergone very minor editing.
Monkeys that had organs from the least edited pigs survived on an average of less than two months. Out of the remining monkeys nine survived over two months, five survived for over a year, and the last monkey survived over two years as stated by the publication. The publication stated that three monkeys are still alive with one hitting the record of over 670 days. At least for the time being, tests exhibited that edited organs in these monkeys could perform in the same manner as native kidneys.
Research advancements are reaching new heights in life. I am confident that they can achieve greater heights if they do not overlook a vital element such as the following. What about the Jewish Kosher and Muslim communities? One is sure that they don’t eat pork, but if it’s for medical reasons, why not? The pig is considered a dirty animal since it eats its own fesses. If they don’t eat it, the Jewish and Muslim communities will refuse to receive its organ. This is why scientists should delve further and conduct experiments on other animals.
My suggestion to scientists is to study African apes. African apes have similar organs to humans.
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