Why Pig Organs Could Be the Future of Transplants

Making human tissue in a lab has always been more sci-fi than sci-fact, but powerful genetic technologies may change that soon. For the most part, the only way to replace diseased or failing hearts, lungs, kidneys and livers is with donor organs. Even then, many people struggle to find a good biological match with a donor, and 8,000 die each year in the U.S. while waiting for an organ. In one promising solution to the shortage, researchers have been putting a new DNA editing tool called CRISPR through rigorous tests in organ regeneration. Last August, a group of scientists led by George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, generated more than a dozen pigs that were bred without certain viruses that had made many of their organs unusable for human transplant. Pig genomes often contain genes for viruses that can cause infection and, if they spread to certain tissues, even cancer. Church used CRISPR to snip out these viral genes from the pig DNA. While there are other ways to edit DNA, CRISPR, developed in 2012, is by far the most precise set of molecular tools to cut, paste, copy and move genes around. In order to ensure that all the tissues in the pigs were free of the viruses, Church and his team used a cloning technique to create embryos from the edited cells. Of 37 pigs that were born, 15 survived, and none showed genetic signs of the viruses. Church anticipates that pig-to-human organ transplant clinical trials could happen in as little as two years, w...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized healthytime Longevity organ transplants Source Type: news

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The immune cells of the brain are somewhat different in character and function from those of the body. They have a greater portfolio of tasks beyond chasing down pathogens, clearing out waste, and assisting in regeneration. For example, the immune cells known as microglia are involved in the maintenance of synaptic connections between neurons. Interestingly, microglia are not produced in the bone marrow by stem cells or progenitor cells, so in the research here in which young bone marrow is transplanted into old mice, one can be fairly sure that any beneficial effects on microglia result from signaling differences on the p...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Daily News Source Type: blogs
Authors: Braun OÖ, Nilsson J, Gustafsson F, Dellgren G, Fiane AE, Lemström K, Hubbert L, Hellgren L, Lund LH Abstract OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess complications and mortality and its predictors, with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVADs) in the Nordic Countries. DESIGN: This was a retrospective, international, multicenter cohort study. RESULTS: Between 1993 - 2013 442 surgically implanted long-term mechanical assist devices were used among 8 centers in the Nordic countries. Of those, 238 were CF-LVADs (HVAD or HeartMate II) implanted in patients>18 ye...
Source: Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal - Category: Cardiology Tags: Scand Cardiovasc J Source Type: research
Authors: Najjar E, Ljung Faxén U, Hage C, Donal E, Daubert JC, Linde C, Lund LH Abstract OBJECTIVES: Soluble suppression of tumorigenecity 2 (sST2) is prognostic in acute and chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) but less studied in HF with preserved EF (HFpEF). We evaluated sST2 concentrations, correlations with biomarkers and echocardiographic measures of diastolic and systolic function, and associations with outcomes in HFpEF and HFrEF. DESIGN AND RESULTS: A total of 193 subjects from three different cohorts were included. Eighty-six HFpEF patients were obtained from the Karolin...
Source: Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal - Category: Cardiology Tags: Scand Cardiovasc J Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 20 February 2019Source: The Journal of Molecular DiagnosticsAuthor(s): Jennifer Tyler, Lorie Kumer, Carolyn Fisher, Heather Casey, Hiroko ShikeAbstractChimerism testing is used to monitor engraftment and risk of relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant for hematological malignancy. Although short tandem repeat (STR) method is widely used among clinical laboratories, quantitative PCR (qPCR) provides better sensitivity (0.1%) than STR (1% to 5%), but is less accurate than STR for patients in mixed chimerism. qPCR chimerism test allows evaluation of residual recipient cell...
Source: The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics - Category: Pathology Source Type: research
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Source: Daily Express - Health - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
While medicine transforms cancer into a chronic disease with which patients can live for an extended period of time, financial toxicity threatens to turn chronic, too.
Source: NYT Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Health Insurance and Managed Care Drugs (Pharmaceuticals) Bankruptcies Cancer Source Type: news
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