Scientists have discovered a way to grow human organs in the body of a sheep, a major breakthrough in the medical community.
In an astonishing new first, scientists have managed to create the first human donor organ in a sheep. It is a major new development that could create hope in thousands of patients who are on a long waiting list for organ transplants.
Researchers say that this could lead to the first transplant in humans within five years, which would be a major development for many people on the waiting list for potentially life-saving transplants. Scientists think they will be able to grow human cells that could turn into an organ within the body of a sheep, which could help with the huge shortage of organs worldwide.
Thousands of people are on the waiting list, and hundreds die waiting on that list every single year. However, there are concerns about whether the organs are viable, as the immune system may reject such implants.
“Even today the best matched organs, except if they come from identical twins, don’t last very long because with time the immune system continuously is attacking them,” said Dr Pablo Ross from the University of California, Davis, according to a Guardian report. “For a pig we typically transfer 50 embryos to one recipient,” said Ross. “With the sheep we transfer four embryos to one recipient.”
There are more considerations, he added.
“I have the same concerns,” said Ross, noting that the team is looking at where the human cells end up in the chimera. “Let’s say that if our results indicate that the human cells all go to the brain of the animal, then we may never carry this forward,” he said.