Scientists have created pigs with organs suitable for human transplants

Would you accept an organ donation from a genetically modified pig?

Scientists from the Japanese company PorMedTec, together with the American biotechnology company eGenesis, are creating modified pigs to carry out organ and cell transplants in humans.

The team of experts who led the investigation reported in a statement that the three pigs were created for xenotransplantation (transplants between species) through cell transfer technology.

“We hope to use this as an opportunity to reflect on the challenges of human organ transplantation,” said Hiroshi Nagashima, founder and chief scientist of PorMedTec.

There is a shortage of organ donors in Japan, which prompted the investigation

The initiative aims to address the shortage of organ donors in Japan, where thousands of people are on waiting lists.

“Only about 3% of people who requested a transplant received one,” the company added.

According to Nikkei Asia, plans to conduct clinical trials of transplants between pig species and humans will begin in 2025, with kidney transplantation being one of the first targets.

The pigs were cloned from another specimen developed by eGenesis, which had ten genes altered. In doing so, they reduced the risk of rejection by a human recipient.

The fertilized eggs were transplanted into the uterus of a surrogate mother who gave birth to them via cesarean section. Once confirmed to be growing sufficiently, the animals will be transferred to medical facilities in Japan for clinical research.

“With the birth of a cloned individual in Japan, there is hope for clinical application in Japan in the future,” PorMedTec concluded in the text.

This news has raised concerns about the suffering and quality of life of animals created for this purpose.

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There is also a debate about the possible creation of inequalities in access to organ transplants through the introduction of this technology and a discussion about the possible costs to human well-being.

Do you think creating genetically modified animals can be a solution to the organ donation crisis?

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