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Genetically Engineered Pig Hearts Transplanted into Dead People

The New York University researchers said today that they successfully implanted genetically altered Pig Hearts into two recently deceased patients attached to ventilators. The procedures represent the most recent advancement in the field of xenotransplantation, or transplanting organs from animals to humans, which has witnessed a flurry of successes thus far this year. This has raised expectations for a fresh, consistent supply of organs to reduce shortages.

According to the research team, the organ itself was the sole aspect of these heart transplants that set them apart from standard human-to-human heart transplants. Nader Moazami, director of heart transplantation at the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, stated that “our goal is to integrate the practises used in a typical, everyday heart transplant, only with a nonhuman organ that will function normally without additional aid from untested devices or medicines. “On June 16 and July 9, the researchers carried out the transplants, and each recipient had three days of observation.

The hearts continued to beat normally throughout that period, and the recipients, who were hooked up to ventilators to keep their bodies operating somewhat normally even after death, showed no symptoms of rejection. The two recipients were able to donate their full bodies for this kind of study even if they were unable to donate their organs. The two Pig Hearts come from Revivicor, a biotechnology business that creates genetically altered animals (and also funded the research). Ten genetic alterations were made to the pigs: six human genes were added, and four pig genes were blocked to avoid rejection.

According to the NYU team, it added more virus screening procedures for transplants. Additionally, it designated an operating room exclusively for xenotransplantation; no other surgical operations would be performed in that space. At NYU, kidney xenotransplantation has also been tested on individuals who were brain dead. A pig kidney was successfully linked to a patient’s ventilator-dependent leg this past autumn, according to an NYU announcement. Through 54 hours of monitoring, the organ continued to operate correctly since the patient’s body did not reject it.

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