Pig-human lung transplant moves a step closer: Scientists
Last Updated: Thursday, February 04, 2010, 00:00

London: Australian scientists have claimed to have successfully passed human blood through pig`s lungs without clotting, a breakthrough which may lead to the possibility of animal-human transplants in near future.

In a lab experiment, the scientists in Melbourne, successfully passed blood through animal lungs which were kept alive with the help of a ventilator and a pump.

"The blood went into the lungs without oxygen and came out with oxygen, which is the exact function of the lungs. It showed that these lungs were working perfectly well and doing as we were expecting them to do," said co-author Dr Glenn Westall.

The breakthrough came after scientists successfully removed a section of pig DNA, which had made the pig organs incompatible with human blood, the Telegraph reported.

Previous attempts to combine unmodified pig lungs and human blood failed when the blood began to clot immediately after being passed through the animal`s lungs.

"This is a significant advance compared to experiments that have been performed over the past 20 years," he added. Human DNA is now added to the pigs as they are reared to
reduce clotting and the number of lungs which are rejected.

The full results of the research are due to be announced in Vancouver in August, the report said.


First Published: Thursday, February 04, 2010, 00:00

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