6.03.2009

Transplant of pig organs into humans closer after stem cell breakthrough

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6417499.ece
http://www.cracked.com/wong/patricia5.jpghttp://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2007/03/26/pig.jpg
The prospect of using genetically modified pig organs to cut transplant waiting lists has moved forward with the creation of the first versatile pig stem cells.
Scientists in China have successfully reprogrammed pig skin and bone marrow cells into an embryo-like state with the potential to form every type of body tissue.
The achievement promises to provide a tool for breeding pigs that are genetically engineered to carry human immune system proteins so that their organs are less likely to be rejected for transplant. It also raises the possibility of modifying pigs to resist infections such as swine flu, and to grow pig tissues and organs as models for human diseases.
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Several other important safety barriers remain before pig organs can be transplanted into human beings. Scientists remain concerned, for example, about exposing people to pig viruses.
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The resulting animal will be a chimera containing some modified and some normal cells. If two chimeras breed with one another, some of their offspring will contain only the modified cells.[!!!!!]
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