Cheap liver replacement? I’ll drink to that! 😉
With the financial aid of a biotechnology executive whose daughter may need a lung transplant, U.S. researchers have been shattering records in xenotransplantation, or between-species organ transplants.
The researchers say they have kept a pig heart alive in a baboon for 945 days and also reported the longest-ever kidney swap between these species, lasting 136 days. The experiments used organs from pigs “humanized” with the addition of as many as five human genes, a strategy designed to stop organ rejection.
It’s a race to see which will work and come out on top – this, or scaffolding. Organ donation/harvesting from pigs has been on the radar for decades because our genes are quite similar. But as the article points out, there are important differences that they are working on addressing.