Thousands of people die each year waiting for an organ transplant as there aren’t enough human organs available, so researchers are turning to an unlikely source: genetically modified (GM) pigs. And these pigs could apparently offer something human donation can’t – an almost unlimited supply of organs.
Researchers have announced that they were able to keep a pig heart alive in a baboon for 945 days. They were also able to shatter records with their kidney transplant between these species, which lasted for 136 days. The previous record was 90 days, though researchers suggest that survival for more than 30 days is unusual. Their findings, detailed in the journal Xenotransplantation, brings us one step closer to pig-to-human transplants. Researchers believe that young pigs are an ideal animal for transplants because their organs are the right size. [emphasis mine]
I suppose it’s good news for humanity. And if someone I loved very dearly were on death’s door and needed one of these organs to survive, I can’t say I’d refuse it. But I wish there were another way. There ought to be another way. There really has to be another way.