24 May 2022
by Bianca Marigliani
Current patients’ need for organ transplantation far exceeds the availability of donors . This is a pressing issue with a distressing human cost: all over the world people die while still on the waiting list for donated organs. To address this issue and save lives, some scientists have proposed xenotransplantation as a solution for the worldwide organ shortage crisis and recent press reports have discussed breakthroughs with this technique.
The first successful heart transplant from a genetically modified pig to a human being hit the headlines in January . The 57-year-old patient, who had advanced heart failure, received a pig’s heart with ten genetic modifications. These included knock out of certain pig genes and the addition of human genes to reduce the risks of rejection, as well as removal of a growth hormone receptor gene to reduce the growth of pig heart tissue after transplantation. Sadly, the patient died in March 2022. [Read more…]