Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Organs for Humans

Scientists Clone Pig For Human Organ Transplant
Posted on: Wednesday, 22 April 2009, 15:34 CDT

Scientists in South Korea have cloned a pig whose organs can be transplanted into humans.

Lim Gio-Bin lead the project that resulted in the birth of the cloned piglet to a surrogate mother at the National Institution of Animal Science in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province on April 3.

The piglet was designed to lack the “alpha-gal” gene that causes tissue reaction exhibited in immuno-rejection, which has been the primary struggle for human organ transplants in the past.

Antibodies in human blood attack alpha 1, 3-galactose, or ``alpha gal,' thus making it impossible for human bodies to accept non-human transplants for a long period of time. By producing a pig without the “alpha-gal” gene, researchers hope to one day be able to create organs that would be safely transferable to humans. Read More

I began thinking about the quandary this could pose for people who are vegans. Imagine the scenario of a vegan having to make the decision for themselves or someone else if they would accept one of these organs in a life or death situation. What if vegan parents were faced with the decision of accepting one of these organs for a sick child of theirs. What would they do? To be honest, I don’t know which life they would value more.

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