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Biotechnology: Xenotransplantation

Year 10 Science



Why People May Have Pig Organs Inside Them One Day

Time Magazine

MAKING HUMAN TISSUE IN A LAB HAS ALWAYS been more sci-fi than sci-fact, but powerful genetic technologies may change that soon. For the most part, the only way to replace diseased or failing hearts, lungs, kidneys and livers is with donor organs.

EBSCO ebook


Log into Firefly and choose the link EBSCO academic ebooks. Search for the title ' Xenotransplantation : Science, Ethics, and Public Policy'


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?

The Balance


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

Animal Aid


Attempts to transplant animal tissues into the human body (xenotransplants) have a long history. During the 17th century, transfusion of animal blood into human recipients proved so hazardous that the development of life-saving blood transfusions was held back for more than a century.


Xenotransplantation is the use of animal organs, cells and tissues for human transplants. Due to the shortage of human organs, many people have turned to the use of animal organs to address their potential chronic conditions.

The Guardian

Gene-editing technology has accelerated progress on animal organ transplant to the point where scientists will soon begin the first human trials.

The Conversation

Transplantation is the best available treatment for many serious health problems including diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease. These conditions affect millions of people worldwide and the cost of treatment, loss of productivity and reduced quality of life are enormously expensive to society