Pigs have been the focus of research in terms of organ transplantation. Sugar in pig cells, however, cause the immune system of the human body to reject the organ. Through genetic engineering, researchers were able to eliminate the sugar in pig cells that cause organ rejection.
A surgical team led by Dr. Robert Montgomery at NYU Langone Health tested the gene-altered pig's kidneys on a deceased recipient (the animal-to-human transplant is called xenotransplantation). After a two-day observation, the kidney was normally functioning with no triggers of rejection.
Most people who need organ transplants eventually die while waiting for a donor. This research brings hope of saving millions of lives in the future.
All Images: Joe Carrotta/NYU Langone Health via AP
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The “Galsafe” pig that was genetically engineered to eliminate sugar in pig cells.
Image: Revivicor via AP