We Could Soon Have Unlimited Transplant Organs

Futuristic ‘smart’ tissues could grow into any organ and automatically connect to the bodies of transplant patients, study reveals

Scientists have created synthetic tissues that can rebuild themselves into any part of the body, a new study reveals.

The researchers developed a new compound that mimics DNA’s instructions for cells to turn into various tissues.

Using this method, the University of California, San Francisco team could effectively automate these cells to take on various structures and colors, a process akin to what happens in the early stages of natural embryonic development.

Exerting this level of control to create complex biological forms indicates that scientists may soon be able to stop 3D-printing organs and grow them the way nature does instead. read more

This Little Piggy Grew an Organ

Growing human transplant organs in pigs has become a more realistic prospect after scientists used advanced gene editing to remove threatening viruses from the animals’ DNA.

Porcine endogenous retroviruses are permanently embedded in the pig genome but research has shown they can infect human cells, posing a potential hazard.

The existence of the virus has been a major stumbling block preventing the development of genetically engineered pigs to provide kidneys and other organs for transplant into human patients.

That hurdle may now have been cleared away, according to new research reported in the journal Science.

Researchers at Harvard University and a private company used the precision gene editing tool Crispr-Cas9 combined with gene repair technology to deactivate 100 percent of the virus in a line of pig cells.

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