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Pig heart transplant trial in baboons a success


Posted on Friday, 7 December, 2018 | Comment icon 7 comments

If you needed a heart transplant, would you accept one from a pig ? Image Credit: PD - Steven Lek
Scientists have succeeded in transplanting pig hearts in to baboons in a groundbreaking new experiment.
With thousands of people on the organ transplant list dying each year due to a lack of donors, scientists have long striven to find a way to produce replacement human organs on demand.

Now a new trial carried out at the University of Munich in Germany has demonstrated the potential for the organs of farm animals - and in particular pigs - to be used as effective alternatives.

For the trial, scientists succeeded in transplanting pig hearts in to four baboons. The animals lead relatively normal, healthy lives for up to six months before needing to be put down.

Scientists have long considered the possibility of using pigs as donors for human transplant because pig organs are remarkably similar to our own. While genetic tinkering and a significant amount of immunosuppressants would be needed to make it work - in theory it should be possible.

The recent success with the baboons has further cemented the idea as a viable concept.

"[This] is an extraordinary achievement," said surgeon Muhammad Mohiuddin of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland.

"You cannot stress this more. The next step from here is clinical transplantation [in people]."

Source: Scientific American | Comments (7)

Tags: Heart, Transplant, Pigs

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by third_eye on 7 December, 2018, 12:30
Hey Elmer ... ~ [00.00:08] ~  
Comment icon #2 Posted by qxcontinuum on 8 December, 2018, 5:22
Poor animals. How long should they suffer for us ? :(
Comment icon #3 Posted by Trenix on 10 December, 2018, 4:03
This is not the future, just unnecessary suffering for animals. Better off engineering devices that will replace organs.
Comment icon #4 Posted by spartan max2 on 10 December, 2018, 4:21
In medical science you have to use animals to test stuff, the only alternative is to use untested things on humans. A neccesary evil
Comment icon #5 Posted by Trenix on 10 December, 2018, 20:08
Completely false. Animals and humans react differently, even as stated by this article. Use simulations and stem cells, not animals and people.
Comment icon #6 Posted by spartan max2 on 10 December, 2018, 20:21
That is funny, I'm sure the scientist just use animal test subjects to torture them, they can't possible be learning any useful information from it lol. Baboons are one of the most similar animals to us, so they may not be exactly the same but it still helps in the process. Science use animal subjects before human subjects for safety reasons. You have to see if it is safe and successful on a animal before you are allowed to experiment it on a human, typically. Our technique and technology with simulations and stem cells are just not advanced enough yet to replace animal experiments. The vast m... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Jon the frog on 12 December, 2018, 18:07
So they survived six months... poor baboons. Why they cannot do these experiments on child rapist instead?


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