Thursday, October 26, 2023

Scientists grow humanized kidneys in pig embryo

 Scientists grow humanized kidney in pig embryo 

    Scientists have recently been able to successfully grow a kidney made mostly of human cells in pigs' embryos. This is a big step for research pertaining to creating viable organs for transplants. This is the first time that an organ containing mostly human cells has grown inside of an organism of another species. Stem cell biologist Liangxue Lai and his team at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health in China were able to make this possible after 5 years of research and refining models. The problem at first was that nobody was able to induce the embryos to make organs because they contained multiple cell types. Lai and his team found the solution when they realized they could modify the human cells using the gene-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 to increase the activity of multiple genes. This change made it so that the human cells were able to fight back the pigs' cells. 

    A little part of me does think it's a bit weird they are growing inside of pigs and I wonder if this could be a gateway to diseases that are carried by pigs. However, I really believe that this is truly a ground-breaking discovery. Research shows that there are over 100,000 people on the transplant list in the United States and most of those people need kidney transplants. This is definitely a really important advancement and it is a great help to those who need it. It's amazing that after all these years of research, a team was able to modify something to change the whole course of this research. It would be interesting to see other organs being grown in pigs or even other organisms in the future.



  1. This article was so interesting! If scientists are able to successfully grow any organ of their choice, this would make the wait for transplants non existent and would save so many lives. I agree with you in that this does feel weird, I personally cannot imagine having a pig's heart in place of my own human heart, but I would also rather have a healthy grown pig heart in place of a heart that isn't effectively working. What a huge discovery that can help save lives if successfully carried out

  2. What a fascinating article! If they are able to successfully grow kidneys then they would eventually be able to grow other organs as well. There are so many people on the transplant list and this would truly change lives of hundreds of thousands of people. However, in terms of bioethics, I feel like a lot of people might be against it because you are sacrificing lives of innocent species in order to save mankind.