HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS CONFERENCE CALENDAR
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 22, No 02, February 2018 – Searching for the fountain of youth       » Chinese researchers cloned monkeys       » National Science and Technology Prizes       » Highlights from the State Natural Science Award       » Highlights from the State Technological Invention Award      
EYE ON CHINA
Breakthrough in pig-to-human organ transplant

An international team of scientists have cloned genetically modified piglets that may prove a safe source of organs for transplants into humans.

The 15 black-headed piglets, born in a lab in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, do not carry the active infectious viral gene which has impeded the process of pig-to-human transplantation for more than a decade, said Chinese members of an international research team who published their results in Science.

Pigs have porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) embedded in their genome. These viruses are able to jump from a pig cell to a human when mixed in the lab. The viruses can then be passed to fresh human cells from the infected one.

This standing block was cleared when the scientists used a gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR, to inactivate the PERVs.

Geneticist Luhan Yang and her colleagues at the American biotech startup eGenesis are behind the breakthrough.

Yang, co-founder and chief scientific officer of eGenesis, joined researchers from several Chinese universities and Aarhus University from Denmark to pen the study published on 10 August.

With modified genes, the scientists created PERV-inactivated pig embryos and transferred them into surrogate sows to produce clones, in the same fashion that Dolly the sheep was created.

Earlier this year, 37 such clones were produced by 17 sows in Yunnan Agricultural University. Till August, 15 are still alive with ages ranging from one to four months.

The next step would be using gene editing to make pig organs less prone to attack by their human recipients’ immune systems, which has been another standing obstacle in the research.

George Church, Harvard geneticist and another eGenesis co-founder, called the clones a milestone in xenotransplantation as the most important safety issue had been solved.

Xenotransplantation means using animal living cells, tissues or organs in people to bridge the shortfall in available human organs.

In China alone, more than 300,000 patients are waiting for organ transplants but fewer than 10,000 surgeries are performed each year. The country witnessed a surge of volunteer organ donors in recent years but that is still far to meet the need.

Xenotransplantation remains controversial. The WHO says while animals are a potential source of high quality and readily available live organs, xenotransplantation carries risks, especially the spread of known or unknown diseases.

Source: Xinhua; edited by APBN

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news EmTech Asia explores future of life, humanity and economy
news Biology of Ageing II - Impactful Interventions
news Separation of conjoined twins presents surgical and ethical challenges for MassGeneral Hospital for Children staff
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  

Lady Ganga: Nilza'S Story
COLUMNS  
Subscribe to APBN E-Newsletter
Find us under 'Others' option to receive APBN e-newsletters thrice a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2018
January:
Obesity / Outlook for 2018
February:
Searching for the fountain of youth
March:
Nutrition / Women in Science
April:
Digestive health / Intellectual property
May:
Asthma / Dental health
June:
Oncology / Biotech landscape in APAC
July:
Water management / Vaccination
August:
Regenerative medicine / Biotech start ups
September:
Digital healthcare / 3D printing
October:
Bones / Breast cancer
November:
Liver health / Top science research nations & institutions
December:
AIDS / Breakthrough of the year/Emerging trends
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Lim Guan Yu
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2018 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy