Not all pigs can become organ donors, though.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – As impossible as this may seem xenotransplantation is possible, new study on pigs informs during this year’s congress of National Academy of Sciences in the United States. The team of researchers from the Harvard University has arrived to this conclusion after repeated DNA experiments have proven that pig retroviruses can be completely eliminated.

When he first set about to prove his hypothesis, Prof. Church was aware that only pig cells can be transplanted into human organs. Nevertheless, he was determined to continue his investigation to achieve complete organ transplantation from a non-human donor to a human recipient.

His recent work has brought a significant contribution to the existing data. Prof. Church has revealed during the National Academy of Sciences that 62 retroviruses can be removed from donated organs through genome editing. Only six retroviruses could be removed until now, which is why Church’s new procedure has been welcome among scientists.

As the team of researchers has explained, retroviruses can be eliminated through DNA editing. More specifically, the researcher has managed to successfully manipulate the CRISPR–Cas9 gene, which appears to be the key to xenotransplantation.

CRISPR–Cas9 gene has been scientifically manipulated during 1,000 experiments that Prof. Church has conducted with his team. Investigators managed to remove 62 retroviruses on all occasions, proving the new genome editing technique is possible.

Xenotransplantation is one of the medical procedures that researchers have been striving to achieve for many years. Yet, the medical problems that recipients could face after transplantation, as well as the infestation of the pig-donated organs have been the two major setbacks that medical experts had to deal with.

According to Prof. Church, the current findings could finally do away with the previously encountered problems. The National Academy of Sciences has acknowledged Church’s genome editing procedure as a method to obtain crossbred organ transplantation.

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