Mutant rising: German scientists plan to clone & then breed genetically-modified pigs this year to serve as heart donors for humans

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German scientists plan to clone and then breed this year genetically modified pigs to serve as heart donors for humans, based on a simpler version of a US-engineered animal used last month in the world’s first pig-to-human transplant.

Eckhard Wolf, a scientist at Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich, said his team aimed to have the new species, modified from the Auckland Island breed, ready for transplant trials by 2025.

In the first surgery of its kind, a team at the University of Maryland Medicine last month transplanted a heart from a pig with 10 modifications into a terminally ill man. His doctors say he is responding well though risks of infection, organ rejection or high blood pressure remain.

Our concept is to proceed with a simpler model, namely with five genetic modifications,” said Wolf, whose work has triggered a heated debate in a country with one of Europe’s lowest organ donation rates and a strong animal rights movement.

Wolf, who has been researching animal-to human-transplants – known as xenotransplants – for 20 years, said his team would use still inefficient cloning technology to generate only “the founder animals”, from which future genetically identical generations would be bred.

The first such generation should be born this year, and their hearts would be tested in baboons before the team sought approval for a human clinical trial in two or three years’ time, Wolf said.

Transplants are used for people diagnosed with organ failure who have no other treatment options, a waiting list that numbered around 8,500 people in Germany at the end of 2021, according to data from the country’s Organ Transplantation Foundation.

Wolf’s supporters say animal donors could help shorten that list, but opponents say the technology rides roughshod over the rights of animals, effectively degrading pigs to the status of organ factories while the monkeys used in transplant experiments die in agony.

Kristina Berchtold, a spokesperson for the Munich branch of Germany’s Animal Welfare Association, called the practice “ethically very questionable.

Animals should not serve as spare parts for humans,” she said. “… A pet, a so-called farm animal, a clone or a naturally born animal all have the same needs, fears and also rights.” [Guardian]

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11 Comments

  1. I liken the argument to the one Jesus had with the the lawkeepers who accused Him and His disciples of working on the Sabbath as they had picked from a field to eat. Jesus’ response was “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:” The meaning is God’s priority is mankind not the law. To this add the lesson of Romans 14. The answer then becomes clear.

  2. Becoming like Noah’s daze. An unclean animal has become the soul of God’s creation and a sign the end is near.

    • Yes, I agree. It seems humanity means absolutely nothing to these ‘woke’ scientific nutjobs. I was a nurse for over 50 years. To my thinking, if we stop polluting the air we breath, stop GMOing all our food supply, and stop making everyone think a ‘pill’ will fix it, the outcome could be 100% better! God gave us brains, why did we stop using them???👵😇

  3. IF YOU ARE NOT WHAT “GOD CREATED” AND A PURE BLOOD,theres not much of a chance you’ll ever see the day your in heaven..YOUR CHOICE..ONLY you can can be the reason you lose that right,most americans want to go to HELL,90% will chose going to hell in america,ALL pigs have a desase in them called TRICNOSOS,its a bug that will invade your whole body,and at some point in time you will die from it,UNLESS you cook the meat to a cinder,then the bugs are dead..very few do that….A HEART,grown in a PIG is a TICKET TO HELL…

  4. Even Christians are not supposed to eat pig. Some say it’s ok, but if you go back into the Old Testament I believe it is forbidden (Leviticus). So, if you have the heart of a pig, it might not be good for your afterlife/ascension. Not 100% sure, but it seems like that would be unclean. Need an expert to confer. It’s a good question, that’s for sure.

    • Very interesting, since some extremist to another would use it as an insult. It’s good when some people have more knowledge than what’s just going around at the time.

      • Well, at least all three religions can agree on something for a change? Occasionally, I do cheat and have some butcher’s smoked bacon. Then I repent. One time up in MN, I worked next to a pig slaughterhouse. So, I keep hearing the screams, right. So, I ask my work partner if he hears it. He says, Yes, but the one that screams is next in line to be slaughtered. Didn’t eat pork for at least three or four years after that. Our pigs are home grown out here, so it’s not processed via conventional commercial pig farmers.

  5. So maybe Islam was right about protecting the Pig? Sorry I do love bacon but if they can make human parts for us, from them… that’s very odd.

    • The Pig ‘line’ is specially modified to be more ‘Human’ like.
      BUT I can get a Heart from a Pig and eat bacon from the same piggie…yum yum!

      • I found a Kentucky farm that makes 100% grass fed, beef summer sausage. Been using that in scrambled eggs lately. Taste is great, my dogs flip out when I start cutting it up for the skillet.

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