First-Ever Genetically Modified Pig Heart Gets Successfully Transplanted Into A Human

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First-Ever Genetically Modified Pig Heart Gets Successfully Transplanted Into A Human

The first-ever genetically modified transplant of a pig's heart into a living human being has taken place in the United States.


57-year-old David Bennett received the pig's heart in place of his own during a 7-hour operation that is a world first and could change the way medicine is performed.


Mr Bennett was unable to receive a human-heart transplant due to medical reasons and a pig-heart that had been genetically modified to stop it carrying genes that would have led it to be rejected from the human body was used instead.


While the operation was a success and Mr Bennett is alive and breathing without a ventilator, it is unclear what his long-term chances of survival are going ahead.


The operation was carried out at the University of Maryland Medical Centre.


Dr. Christine Lau, chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said of the ground-breaking procedure:


"He's at more of a risk because we require more immunosuppression, slightly different than we would normally do in a human-to-human transplant. How well the patient does from now is, you know, it's never been done before so we really don't know. People die all the time on the waiting list, waiting for organs. If we could use genetically engineered pig organs they'd never have to wait, they could basically get an organ as they needed it."


Adding:


"Plus, we wouldn't have to fly all over the country at night-time to recover organs to put them into recipients."


A pig's kidney had previously been transplanted experimentally into a brain-dead individual, and pig heart valves have been used consistently throughout the years in humans, this is however one step beyond anything that has been trialled before.


Some have however criticised the procedure, stating that animals should not be specially bred to provide spare organs for humans. Currently, 100,000 people in the US are awaiting an organ transplant, and 17 of those individuals die every day without ever getting the organ they need.


[Based on reporting by: BBC]


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Thinking Humanity: First-Ever Genetically Modified Pig Heart Gets Successfully Transplanted Into A Human
First-Ever Genetically Modified Pig Heart Gets Successfully Transplanted Into A Human
The first-ever transplant of a pig's heart into a living human being has taken place in the United States. 57-year-old David Bennett received the pig
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