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Genetically Modified Pigs & Organ Shortage


pallidin

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NEAR BLACKSBURG, Va.  It's a crisp, clear winter day as I drive down a winding two-lane road through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwest Virginia and turn onto an unmarked gravel driveway.

At the end of the drive, I meet David Ayares, who runs Revivicor Inc., a biotech company based in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Ayares has invited me to be the first journalist to tour the company's research farm, which is on the forefront of trying to realize a long-sought goal: using cloned farm animals to provide kidneys, hearts, livers and other organs to save thousands of people who need transplants.

"It's exciting. We've been working on this for more than 20 years. And it's no longer a science fiction experiment," Ayares says. "It's actually a reality."

The experiments hold promise for alleviating the chronic shortage of organs for transplantation. But the research is also stirring concerns about the ethics of using farm animals for their organs and the risks of spreading animal viruses to people...

More than 100,000 people are on the waiting list for transplants in the U.S., and about 17 a day die without getting one because there aren't enough human organs available.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2024/02/29/1231699834/genetically-modified-pigs-organs-human-transplant

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6 hours ago, pallidin said:

. But the research is also stirring concerns about the ethics of using farm animals for their organs and the risks of spreading animal viruses to people...

We have eaten these animals for many millennia.

We have eaten their organs.

What's the problem?

 

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1 hour ago, Abramelin said:

We have eaten these animals for many millennia.

We have eaten their organs.

What's the problem?

 

I don't know. Maybe involving a medical desire for the transplant recipient to not have the complications of a viral infection while healing... I suppose one would have to dig deeper for that answer. However, I did find this at the end of the article:

In addition, surgeons at the University of Maryland in Baltimore implanted gene-edited pig hearts into two men who had run out of other options. Those volunteers survived only a few weeks. But Ayares says the men provided invaluable information about using organs from genetically modified cloned pigs in people. For example, researchers found evidence of a pig virus in one of the heart recipients, prompting Revivicor to add additional testing to ensure the animals are free from that risk.

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