Friday, January 27, 2017

Scientists take first steps to growing human organs in pigs

In this article, scientists took the next step forward in genetics. Malcolm Ritter wrote about how human cells have been placed inside the embryos of pigs. These types of animals with cells from different species are called chimeras. The injected human stem cells in the pigs are projected to be the first step towards growing livers, hearts, pancreases, and other human organs. The researchers believe this will ease the shortage of human donors for transplants. As the pigs grow the human organs will grow in place of their own. Once the organs are ready to be removed, the pigs will be euthanized. Even though such mixing has been done on rats and mice before, this type of  human-animal research has raised ethical concerns in the science world.

My older brother came to me with this article in the Atlantic City Press. This type of information sounds so futuristic and bizarre to me. I have heard of people using pig valves for heart repairs, but never would I think of using pigs to harvest human organs. This is an amazing revolution for doctors and transplant patients. This will most definitely be up for ethical discussions among certain individuals, but I believe this will save the lives of many.


  1. I totally agree with you of how strange this is! I've heard of growing organs on mice, but the thought of actually harvesting them and using it on humans sounds unreal to me. If the research turns out successful, though, it would be really great for those who need the transplants!

  2. There is no doubt in my mind that if this development turns out to be a successful method for providing organ transplants that it should be embraced. The ethical questions may be argued about by some but I'm sure almost anyone would accept an organ grown within an animal rather then dying because they are at the bottom of a long wait list.

  3. I actually just read a article about this and it brought up a a lot of the ethical problems related to this experiment. One interesting ethical question being raised is what would happen if the animal hybrids had complex thought process and a more humanized brain? Which is crazy to think about.