Xenotransplantation, the practice of transplanting animal organs into humans, has achieved a remarkable breakthrough according to a recent Interesting Engineering article. A monkey who received a genetically engineered pig kidney survived for an impressive 758 days. This milestone was reached through extensive gene editing, involving 69 genetic modifications, including the incorporation of seven human transgenes to ensure organ health and prevent unwanted blood clotting.
These results mark a significant advancement in the field, bringing researchers closer to potential human applications. The research team is now actively pursuing FDA approval to begin a human clinical study. This development is important in addressing the shortage of organ donors, with over 100,000 individuals in the United States alone awaiting organ transplants, and roughly 17 of them dying each day waiting for donors.