Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient

The reception: Although the research was completed last month, it has yet to be published in peer-reviewed journals or other publications. However, external experts believe that it is a significant advance. Professor of genetics at University of Kent (UK), Darren K Griffin says, "There is no doubt this is a very significant breakthrough." "The research team was cautious in using a patient with brain death. They attached the kidney to the outside and monitored the patient closely for a short time. He said that there is still much to learn and a lot of work to do.
This is a major breakthrough. It's a huge, huge deal," Dr Dorry Sevev, a professor of transplant surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who wasn't involved in the research, said to the New York Times. He said, however, that more information is needed about the organ's longevity.

Background: Although research has been focusing on pigs in recent years as the best avenue to address organ shortages, it has encountered a few obstacles. The most notable is the fact that sugar in pig cells can trigger an aggressive rejection response in humans.

Researchers were able to circumvent this problem by genetically altering a donor pig to eliminate the gene that encodes the sugar molecules that cause the rejection response. Revivicor was one of many biotech companies that genetically engineered the pig to be transplantable into human organs.

The big prize is that there is an urgent need for more transplantable kidneys. According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 100,000 Americans are waiting for a transplant. 13 people die each day. If the NYU Langone approach can be extended, genetically engineered pigs may offer hope for these people.