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Animal to human organ transplants come closer after GM pig breakthrough

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Richard Alleyne
London Telegraph
Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Heart and kidney transplants from animals to humans have taken a step closer to reality after a breakthrough in how to genetically modify pigs.

Researchers all over the world have been trying to develop a GM pig that could be used to solve the shortage of organs for transplant patients.

Now a team in China have created pig stem cells in the laboratory, a move which paves the way towards the medical goal.


The breakthrough means that the animals, which are genetically and physically close to humans, could be genetically changed so that the human body does not reject their organs.

Once created, the “donor strain” should be able to reproduce normally, producing an almost limitless and cheap supply of organs.

A shortage of appropriate donors means that around 500 people die every year in Britain while waiting for a transplant.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 3:45 am

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