Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pigs Could Be the Perfect Organ Donors

More than 123,000 people wait on transplant lists in America alone that if received, could save their life. It is said that on average every 12 minutes another person is added to a life saving organ transplant list. 

Scientists have been manipulating and editing the genes of pigs for years in order to potentially making them the perfect organ donors for humans. After modifying 62 different genes in pig embryos, scientists think they have finally found a way to make pigs the ideal and suitable organ donors. Although pig organs are similar in size to humans, pig embryos posses 62 porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) which once in humans is not treatable (potentially causing more issues in the human body such as blood clotting). Companies are working together to attempt to breed pigs genetically edited before even born in order to try and reduce the amount of PERVs in the pig embryo.

With more research throughout the years, I believe that this is a great step taken to possibly use pig organs for human transplants. The pigs organ size is already ideal, it is just the genetics that need to be altered. With the right genetic editing and modifying this could lead to an increase in available organs for transplant and the saving of thousands of lives.

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  1. I definitely see what you're saying, Emily. This is very promising research, and hopefully the companies could alter the PERV's so they would no longer cause problems for humans. It would be great if we would have a new source of organ donors. Let's hope for the best!

  2. this is great how pigs are so similar to us as humans when it comes to their skin, and now knowing we can use them as organ donors can help save a lot of people and help more people without having to be in a wait list.