Organ Transplants May Become Easier

Posted on March 9, 2018 by


Every day, there are people who desperately need organ transplants. Unfortunately, there is a huge wait for transplants, which could potentially cause things to get worse.

“In the U.S. alone, more than a hundred thousand people need heart transplants each year, but only about 2,000 receive one,” National Geographic said.

For years, scientists have been trying to produce embryos with other animals to grow organs for humans. Recently sheep-human hybrid embryos have started to form, which could potentially change the transplant world.  

Building on a controversial breakthrough made in 2017, scientists announced on Saturday that they have created the second successful human-animal hybrids: sheep embryos that are are 0.01-percent human by cell count,” National Geographic said.

The embryos could also help people that have other health issues too.

Scientists believe their strategy could lead to a cure for some diabetes patients. Human islet cell transplants are used as an experimental treatment but have had limited long-term success. One of the barriers is rejection. In theory, scientists could use a recipient’s own cells to tailor-make organs that are compatible with their bodies. This could reduce the chance of immune system rejection, researchers hope,” Newsweek said.

So what is the down-side to this? This is not something that will happen overnight.

“It could take five years or it could take 10 years, but I think eventually we will be able to do this,” Dr. Hiro Nakauchi, a professor of genetics at Stanford said.

People who need transplants or who have diabetes could potentially get help in the next decade or so. Until then, people will still have to wait for transplants and continue to take insulin.

Posted in: Amber Weiss