American Surgeons Successfully Test Pig Kidney Transplant in Human Patient
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American Surgeons Successfully Test Pig Kidney Transplant in Human Patient

  • Scientists recently attached a pig's kidney to a human body temporarily and watched it even as it began to work
  • It should be noted pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage
  • The success of the transplant was widely celebrated by many people, especially science enthusiasts and doctors

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Scientists are in celebratory moods after one of their longest time experiment worked in their favour.

American Surgeons successfully did the transplant.
Scientists made the tryout and it was successful. Photo: NBC News.
Source: Getty Images

Pig to human organs

YEN.com.gh has learnt a number of scientists recently attached a pig's kidney to a human body temporarily and watched it even as it began to work.

According to various media entities, the latest development is a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants in humans.

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NBC News reported that the surgeons attached the pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so that they could observe it for two days.

To their ''surprise'' the kidney did what it was supposed to do, which is filtering waste and producing urine.

To top it up, the transplant did not trigger any rejection.

"It had absolutely normal function. It didn't have this immediate rejection that we have worried about," Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the surgical team at NYU Langone Health said.

The world celebrates

The success of the transplant was widely celebrated by many people, especially science enthusiasts and doctors.

YEN.com.gh understands that pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage.

It should be noted, however, that there have been a number of challenges in the procedures.

In a recent case, a sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, caused immediate organ rejection.

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The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

This procedure, the animal-to-human transplants otherwise known as xenotransplantation goes back to the 17th century where there were attempts to use animal blood for transfusions.

By the 20th century, surgeons were attempting transplants of organs from baboons into humans.

With no lasting success and much public uproar, scientists turned from primates to pigs, tinkering with their genes to bridge the species gap.

According to scientists pigs have advantages over monkeys and apes.

They are produced for food, so using them for organs raises fewer ethical concerns.

Pigs have large litters, short gestation periods and organs comparable to humans.

Source: Yen

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