A pig's kidney has been transplanted into a human and was not immediately rejected for the first time. The medical advancement, called a "transformative moment" by researchers, could pave the way to help the thousands of people in need of organ transplants every year.
On September 25, researchers at New York University performed the transplant, called xenotransplantation, in a two-hour procedure. The kidney, which was obtained from a genetically engineered pig, was placed in a brain dead human who had been placed on a ventilator with the consent of her family. The kidney was attached to the blood vessels in the donor's upper leg and kept outside the abdomen, where it was covered with a protective shield, for the duration of the 54-hour study.
Researchers observed that the body was producing levels of urine and creatinine that were "normal and equivalent to what is seen from a human kidney transplant," NYU said, and there were no signs of the body rejecting the organ.
Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the surgical team, said in a statement that the procedure was a "transformative moment in organ transplantation." He told Dr. Jon LaPook in a CBS Evening News exclusive interview that the procedure "was even better than I expected."... Read More: Reuters