ibusinesslines.com March 19, 2018

Major step towards growing human organs in pigs

11 August 2017, 12:54 | Melissa Porter

Major step towards growing human organs in pigs

Major step towards growing human organs in pigs

Dr. David Klassen told The New York Times that if pig organs were safe and effective to transplant into humans "they could be a real game changer". Researchers in the study used the gene-editing technology to effectively cut out a porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) commonly found throughout pig bodies.

There are now more than 100,000 people in the United States awaiting organ transplants, and only 20 to 30 percent of them will ever receive one, she said. eGenesis, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is entirely focused on furthering xenotransplantion as a viable option. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates 117,000 men, women and children are now awaiting organ transplants in the U.S. alone.

The company, which raised $US38 million in March and is cofounded by Harvard geneticist George Church and 31-year old Luhan Yang, wants to knock out certain genes in pigs that could cause diseases or organ rejection in humans, making it possible for those pig organs to be transplanted. These edited cells were then used to create embryos that were implanted into sows and the birthed piglets were born virus-free.

CRISPR holds enormous potential to wipe out diseases in both humans and animals, upend our food system and has many other applications we likely don't see yet.

"This is the first publication to report on PERV-free pig production", Yang, who is chief scientific officer at Egenesis, said in a news release.

The eGenesis team, having produced the first piglets free of active PERVs, is working toward combining the safety benefits of PERV-free pigs with additional gene editing addressing immunological response to increase organ immune and functional compatibilities.

Experiments showed pig cells could infect human cells with Pervs in the lab.

"We don't know that if we transplant pig organs with the viruses that they will transmit infections, and we don't know that the infections are risky", Fishman said. "I think that such innovation is required to tackle as challenging a problem as xenotransplantation".

But other researchers say the risk of infecting humans with pig retroviruses is not that clear and that, on balance, unnecessarily editing the pig genes would add to the complexity and cost of a xenotransplant. In theory, this should make transplanted organs less prone to attack by a recipient's immune system.

Next, the company needs to make sure it can consistently replicate virus-free pigs, which it's already well on its way to doing. "But the use of animal organs such as pig kidneys and hearts is not without serious ethical and biosecurity concerns".

Many people with failing hearts, livers and kidneys are saved by donated organs from people who have died (or even some who are still living, in the case of kidneys), but there are not enough to go round.

To do that, you first genetically modify pig cells.

Other News

Trending Now

Tesla raising cash in push to get Model 3 to masses
Musk also said that he would be disappointed if they don't bring the cost below $100 per kWh by the end of the decade. A performance focused variant of the auto , which will inevitably house a larger capacity battery - is also on cards.

On Guam, The Mood Is Calm Despite Being In North Korea's Crosshairs
Locals here remember 2013, when North Korea threatened the Andersen Air Force Base , which hosts the U.S. For the moment, U.S military officials sought to play down the potential for military conflict.

North Korea nerves rattle stocks, lift gold, yen
TECH SLIDE: Technology stocks, which lead all other sector stocks with a gain of more than 20 percent this year, fell the most. Snapchat parent Snap Inc.(SNAP), Nordstrom Inc.(JWN), News Corp.(NWS.AU) and Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) will report after the close.

Battlefield 1 now available in EA Access
Both services come with a selection of games to download, along with the ability to download trials ahead of a game's release. The new Operations mode is the standout addition with a sometimes lengthy PVP campaign across multiple maps.

Guam strike plan ready within days: North Korea
Earlier in the day, South Korean authorities said Seoul would act against the North if the latter continued its provocations. The B-1s then flew over the Korean Peninsula, where they were joined by South Korean KF-16 fighters.

Channing Tatum goes all Magic Mike in a North Carolina convenience store
In short order, the music in the store was turned up and Tatum's " Magic Mike " dance moves were on display. He bantered with the cashier and later danced with her to the tune of Nas' "If I Ruled The World".

Trump's proposed immigration act mimics Canada's system
And that may explain why a us senator from Arkansas, at least one with his own presidential ambitions, has taken up this cause. But is it good? What is known is that an immigration system overhaul attuned to modern migration patterns is long overdue.