Pig Liver

Chinese Scientists Implant First Pig Liver Into Brain-Dead Human

(Zero Hedge)—Who says nothing interesting ever happens in the world anymore? This week, in a “first of its kind” operation, a brain-dead human subject was implanted with the world’s first gene-edited pig liver transplant, according to SCMP.

In what could be a pioneering move, Chinese scientists have transplanted a gene-edited pig liver into a human, aiming to potentially mark a solution to organ shortages, the report says.

The liver was modified to reduce rejection risks and was implanted into a brain-dead recipient, showing no rejection signs four days post-operation, as per the Air Force Medical University. SCMP writes that this procedure could significantly aid those with end-stage liver disease, possibly revolutionizing liver transplants.

Gene editing advancements in China also promise to enhance efficiency and accessibility in plant modification, reflecting broader strides in medical innovation, the report continues.

SCMP notes that liver diseases annually claim 2 million lives globally, with China alone witnessing up to 500,000 new cases of liver failure yearly. Xenotransplantation, the process of transplanting organs across species, could be a hopeful strategy, especially for liver ailments, given the complexity and scarcity of human livers for transplantation.

While pig organs have been previously used in research, the liver’s complexity means there needs to be innovative surgical approaches, such as auxiliary transplants, to ensure effective integration and function within the body, according to SCMP.

This development signals a critical step toward more sustainable organ transplant solutions, addressing both the technical challenges and the dire need for viable organs.

The Air Force Medical University commented: “From this perspective, xenogenic liver transplantation has great clinical application value.”