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posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 12, @09:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the good-luck! dept.

Man Gets Genetically-Modified Pig Heart in World-First Transplant

Man gets genetically-modified pig heart in world-first transplant

A US man has become the first person in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig. David Bennett, 57, is doing well three days after the experimental seven-hour procedure in Baltimore, doctors say.

The transplant was considered the last hope of saving Mr Bennett's life, though it is not yet clear what his long-term chances of survival are.

"It was either die or do this transplant," Mr Bennett explained a day before the surgery.

"I know it's a shot in the dark, but it's my last choice," he said.

Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center were granted a special dispensation by the US medical regulator to carry out the procedure, on the basis that Mr Bennett would otherwise have died.

[...] He had been deemed ineligible for a human transplant, a decision that is often taken by doctors when the patient is in very poor health.

Surgeons Successfully Transplant Genetically Modified Pig Heart Into Human Patient

Surgeons successfully transplant genetically modified pig heart into human patient:

[...] Scientists have tried to save humans with animal organs for decades. One of the most notable attempts occurred in 1984 when doctors grafted a baboon heart into Stephanie Fae Beauclair, an infant born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The congenital disorder left her body incapable of circulating blood properly. Baby Fae, as she was better known, survived for 21 days before her body eventually rejected the transplanted organ.

According to The New York Times, what makes this latest procedure different is doctors used a heart that had been genetically modified to remove four genes that encode a molecule that causes the body to reject the orphan organ. They also inserted six human genes to make the immune system more tolerable of the foreign tissue. Whether the experiment represents a breakthrough will depend on what happens next. Bennett's body could still reject the pig heart. For the moment, however, he's alive, and doctors are understandably excited about what this could mean for patients.


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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Deeo Kain on Wednesday January 12, @12:05PM (3 children)

    by Deeo Kain (5848) on Wednesday January 12, @12:05PM (#1212076)

    This treatment is discriminatory, as it was deviced not to be available to Muslims!

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @02:16PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @02:16PM (#1212096)

      Or Orthodox Jews. No problem. They are free to take the transplant or not, and I doubt their absolute numbers (keeping in mind there aren't many total heart transplants to begin with) will motivate research into another animal's heart.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @03:54PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @03:54PM (#1212138)

        I am no expert in Judaism, but I understand that the rules can be bent if strict adherence to a certain class of rules would cost a human life. The Orthodox priests might rule that a pig heart is acceptable. People can justify nearly anything when their life is at stake.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:48PM (#1212448)

          The way that I understand it is that, at least for some sects of Jews, it is OK for them to receive organs if needed but it's not OK for them to donate organs.

          I wouldn't mind being an organ donor but only if I can specify that I am only willing to donate my organs to other organ donors. If you are not an organ donor, for whatever reason (religious or otherwise), you are not entitled to my organs. If I can't make that specification I refuse to be an organ donor.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by crafoo on Wednesday January 12, @01:43PM (2 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday January 12, @01:43PM (#1212089)

    So many of us look like fattened pigs ready for slaughter, we might as well just become little piglets when our overworked hearts start to give out. Healthy at any weight, piglets!

    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday January 12, @02:17PM (1 child)

      by looorg (578) on Wednesday January 12, @02:17PM (#1212097)

      ... Healthy at any weight, piglets!

      Their life expectancy isn't that great tho cause pork chops are delicious!

      • (Score: 2) by RedGreen on Wednesday January 12, @02:22PM

        by RedGreen (888) on Wednesday January 12, @02:22PM (#1212099)

        "Their life expectancy isn't that great tho cause pork chops are delicious!"

        And bacon, mmmmmm.

        --
        "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
  • (Score: 2) by iWantToKeepAnon on Wednesday January 12, @02:57PM (4 children)

    by iWantToKeepAnon (686) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 12, @02:57PM (#1212109) Homepage Journal
    Bacon for breakfast after?
    --
    "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday January 12, @03:17PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday January 12, @03:17PM (#1212121)

      I participated in medical research on piglets for many years. We got our test subjects from Oscar Meyer, literally.

      --
      Україна не входить до складу Росії.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @04:29PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @04:29PM (#1212152)

        You sound proud of that.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @04:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @04:42PM (#1212156)

          He probably is and so am I.
          Those pigs would've ended up as porkchops anyway.

    • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Thursday January 13, @02:11AM

      by Hartree (195) on Thursday January 13, @02:11AM (#1212287)

      "What do they do with the pig?"

      In the words of Porky Pig, "Th-th-th-that's all folks!"

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @03:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @03:10PM (#1212116)

    what is needed is an operation to remove pig's appetites from phat pholk

  • (Score: 2) by Oakenshield on Wednesday January 12, @05:38PM

    by Oakenshield (4900) on Wednesday January 12, @05:38PM (#1212171)

    So called scientists are playing with fire. Nothing good can come from this. We are two thirds way towards creating ManBearPig. Somebody call Al Gore.

  • (Score: 2) by datapharmer on Thursday January 13, @02:03AM

    by datapharmer (2702) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @02:03AM (#1212285)

    So if donor tissue contributes DNA to the bloodstream adding a different species into the mix could potentially have... Undesired results?

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18290564/ [nih.gov]

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @03:43AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @03:43AM (#1212317)

    Those pig Republicans can finally be useful, assuming their organs aren't shot by all the alcohol, cigarettes, pills and meth they love to stuff into their gaping maws.

    • (Score: 2) by ChrisMaple on Thursday January 13, @07:29AM (1 child)

      by ChrisMaple (6964) on Thursday January 13, @07:29AM (#1212356)

      Just when is it you think that the left stopped being the primary users and proponents of mind-destroying drugs?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @03:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @03:26PM (#1212429)

        We are all safe until the first drug addled brain transplant. I don't want that. It's just too risky.

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