3 cheers for the pig man

Defining humanity in the age of miracles

The pig man.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

It may not always feel like it, but we live in an age of miracles. The most recent: the first successful transplant of a heart from a non-human mammal to a human being.

This was not the first successful xenotransplantation of a working organ. Last year saw the first successful transplant of a genetically-modified pig's kidney into a human being. But the recipient, in that case, was also a donor, someone who was legally dead and who had offered his organs for donation. Since these proved unusable, his family instead donated his entire body for research purposes to receive the pig kidney to study whether it would be rejected.

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