Now pigs can take innovation to the next big level. Call it a weird attempt by science or a great trial, but now, human organs will be grown in pigs and they will be used for future transplantation.
American scientists are now trying to develop a human pancreas inside a pig. This controversial research, according to them, might facilitate the production of human organs for transplant patients.
In the University of California, a team has created a “genetic niche” in pig DNA. This will let them inject human stem cells into the embryo of a pig. Researchers are optimistic that the resulting fetus will develop a pancreas made almost entirely of human cells, although in the existing experiments, the pregnancies will be terminated after 28 days, reports Mirror.
The research is pretty controversial. The main US medical research agency put a restriction on the funding limit last year. It is speculating that the human cells might go to developing the fotal pig’s brain, turning the animal more human.
Professor Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist and the researcher who is leading the study, shared his view and stated, “Our hope is that this pig embryo will develop normally but the pancreas will be made almost exclusively out of human cells and could be compatible with a patient for transplantation. We think there is a very low potential for a human brain to grow.”
Pigs are considered apt biological incubators for growing human organs. Aside from the pancreas, they can be very well used for creating hearts, livers, kidneys, lungs and corneas.
With the progress in medical science arises a new challenge in the circle. Although therapeutic teams have succeeded in saving more lives, the death rate has gone up due to acute organ donor shortage. Patients are dying waiting for a transplantation.
Experts consider that the so-called “chimera” technique being developed in California is all set to be approved by the Home Office. However, animal rights campaigners are not giving 100% consent to the use of animals to grow human organs.
Peter Stevenson, from Compassion in World Farming, conveyed: “I’m nervous about opening up a new source of animal suffering. Let’s first get many more people to donate organs.”
The innovation might sound weird to many, but if claims are to be considered, such scientific method can help in saving a lot of lives in the long run.