Pig-to-human kidney transplant

There will never be enough human kidneys available to transplant all the patients in renal failure who are on dialysis. While there has been considerable interest in xenotransplantation (sourced, in this case, from pigs), the barriers to sustainable transplant have so far proved insurmountable: these include immune rejection and activation of cryptic viruses. Now, thanks to genome editing, those barriers may now be overcome:

“The pigs whose organs were used . . . came from the same company that supplied the organ for Saturday’s operation, run by Cambridge-based eGenesis, co-founded by the famed Harvard geneticist and bioengineer, George Church. The company has used the CRISPR-cas9 gene-editing technology to make 69 adjustments to the pig genome, eliminating features that would cause the human body to reject it and inactivating pig viruses that could be a threat to humans.”

Welcome to the future, peeps!

xenograft kidney transplant