Pig Lung Transplants for Humans Move Closer

Ethicists object to creating human-animal hybrid
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2010 8:53 AM CST
Pig Lung Transplants for Humans Move Closer
Pigs lungs can now function with human blood flowing through them.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Animal organ transplants in humans are now a step closer to reality: Scientists have successfully combined animal lungs with human blood, keeping a pig lung alive and functioning as the blood flowed through it. “The blood went into the lungs without oxygen and came out with oxygen, which is the exact function of the lungs," a researcher tells the Daily Telegraph. The first pig-human transplant could happen within five years.

Previous attempts to combine pig lungs with human blood had failed because the blood formed clots. The scientists overcame this problem by removing a section of pig DNA and adding human DNA to the pigs as they were reared. A medical ethicist who objected to this process said, “It is basically a human-pig, a hybrid. ... It is about whether the community is prepared to accept a part human, part animal." (Read more organ transplants stories.)

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