According to the study, scientists edit pig genome with goal of human organ transplants since pigs organs are similar in size and function to human organs. Is this possible? We knew that pigs carry porcine endogenous retroviruses (or PERVs) which means they can’t be transplanted.
It has been said that scientists used CRISPR to edit out these retroviruses in cells and this is one of the obstacles they must to overcome first.
By using CRISPR genome editing technology, scientists deactivated a family of retroviruses within the pig genome overcoming a large hurdle in the path to the transplant of pig organs into humans.
In the journal Science which they wrote in a study published on Thursday, “Porcine organs are considered favorable resources for xenotransplantation since they are similar to human organs in size and function, and can be bred in large numbers.”
The retroviruses carry their genetic blueprint in the form of ribonucleic acid (or RNA) and transcribe this into deoxyribonucleic acid, commonly known as DNA. This is the reverse of the usual transcription process, which flows from DNA to RNA. This reversal makes it possible for retrovirus genes not only to infect cells but to become permanently incorporated into a cell’s genome.
This study could mean the rising of piggery businesses. We need more pigs in the future to transplant organs especially this generation and in the future generations that a lot of organ transplants be made. One example is the gender transplant which is getting known for this generation.