Friday, 16 May 2014

Growing lungs in pigs.

Did anyone see this article in the Globe and Mail about the the development of humanized pig organs? If you missed it, basically the news is that a team at United Therapeutics Corp. has started to develop pig lungs that have been altered to be compatible with humans. Sweet!

They are called 'humanized pig organs' and they hope to develop them for human lung transplants. It's like a sci-fi novel except it's actually happening. It's fascinating and amazing what they can do with genetic modification now (it's important to remember that GM is a tool that can be used for both good and whatever Monsanto is). Growing organs in pigs would solve so many problems. No more waiting around for people to die. Reduced risk of rejection. Bacon for all.

Obviously this is still in the research stage and they aren't about to give me a pair of pig lungs but the possibilities are incredible. Last week the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute said that they were able to keep a pig heart functioning in the abdomen of a baboon for a year. The first though is that is a pointless thing to do but it does show that pig organs can be made to be compatible with other animals. Between this research and 3D printing, the future of organ transplants continues to look more and more promising. Science is awesome.

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