How can we transplant animal tissue into humans? And will we ever be able to grow customized organs? SciShow explains
Our faculty move surgery forward every day with innovative research programs. Dr. Robert Redfield, faculty member in the Division of Transplantation, discusses his research in xenotransplantation, a field exploring novel sources of human organs for patients with organ failure.
For nearly half a century, scientists have been trying to create a process for transplanting animal organs into humans, a theoretical dream that could help the hundreds of thousands of people in need of a lifesaving transplant. But the risks, specifically of transmitting the PERV virus from pigs to humans, have always been too great, stalling research -- until now. In a mind-blowing talk, geneticist Luhan Yang explains a breakthrough: using CRISPR, a technique for editing genes, she and her colleagues have created pigs that don't carry the virus, opening up the possibility of safely growing human-transplantable organs in pigs. Learn more about this cutting-edge science and how it could help solve the organ shortage crisis.
Some scientists think the solution to long organ-donor waiting lists is to create chimeras: half-animal, half-human creatures that we can harvest for their organs. But can it be done? Is that even ethical? And would we be creating lifesavers, or monsters?
Criticism and concerns about xenotransplantation include risks to the patient and the general public, as well as bioethics issues pertaining to the use of animals for human advancement