Scientists in New York have achieved what was considered impossible. A pig kidney has been successfully transplanted into a human. After years of research, this was made possible at NYU Langone Health in New York.
As you must know, human bodies are designed to reject foreign bodies. This is why transplants of organs often get rejected. So doctors spend considerable effort in matching donors and recipients. This is why animal transplants have been considered impossible, with the exception of Lord Ganesha in Hindu mythology. So how did these researchers make this possible? In preparation for this amazing transplant, the pig’s genes were modified to get rid of the molecule that causes human immune system to reject the transplanted organ.
The transplant was performed on a comatose patient whose kidney was not functioning properly. After getting the family’s consent, the pig kidney was first attached to the patient’s body but kept outside it for 3 days to track and monitor the progress. The kidney did not face immediate rejection by the recipient’s body. In fact, the patient’s kidney function has already started improving! This can be a great advancement for humans as it can solve our problem of organ shortage. But what about ethical aspects? Is it ethical to end an animal’s life to save a human’s?