Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources
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Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources
Combining reports, research findings and topic reviews
Curated by Deborah Verran
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CRISPR slices virus genes out of pigs, but will it make organ transplants to humans safer?

CRISPR slices virus genes out of pigs, but will it make organ transplants to humans safer? | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Scientists have been able to create piglets which no loner contain the genes for potentially harmful retroviruses within their genome. This was aided by the use of CRISPR technology (gene editing). However as mentioned in the article producing these piglets was not easy and in the end cloning was also required.


This combination of gene editing being used initially at the cellular level along with the subsequent cloning of pig embryo's is also mentioned in this report of the research via the New York Times-

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/health/gene-editing-pigs-organ-transplants.html


Although erasing potentially dangerous viruses brings the field of xenotransplantation a step closer to making up for the current organ shortage with pig's organs there are still some concerns.

Deborah Verran's insight:
Important question the answer to which is not clear at this stage
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Monkey makes medical history after having a successful liver transplant from a ... - Daily Mail

Monkey makes medical history after having a successful liver transplant from a ... - Daily Mail | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Reported in detail via the Daily Mail is this story of a monkey undergoing a liver transplant from a cloned pig. This is otherwise known as xenotransplantation.

The Tibetan macaque as pictured lies in an intensive care unit ten days after undergoing a liver transplant at the Xijing Hospital in Xian, China.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Previous attempts at xenotransplantation internationally have not usually led to long term survival of the recipient animals. Hence a further update on the longer term outcome will be important.

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Researchers achieving improved outcomes with Pig-to-Primate Organ Transplants - MIT Technology Review

Researchers achieving improved outcomes with Pig-to-Primate Organ Transplants - MIT Technology Review | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

A biotech company’s genetically engineered pigs are now setting new records for outcomes as the result of xenotransplantation of some of the organs into primates.

 

It appears that years of laboratory research are now beginning to deliver promising results with the use of these particular animal organs for transplantation purposes. It may be possible that if the results continue to improve that trials in humans may be contemplated in the not too distant future.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Good summary of the current status of xenotransplantation. The full article can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline.

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