Wednesday, January 14, 2004

New Directions in Xenotransplantation
Pigs grown from fetuses into which human stem cells were injected have surprised scientists by having cells in which the DNA from the two species is mixed at the most intimate level....

The adult pigs that had received human stem cells as fetuses were found to have pig cells, human cells and the hybrid cells in their blood and organs.

'What we found was completely unexpected....' said Jeffrey Platt, director of the Mayo Clinic Transplantation Biology Program.

You don't say? But here's the best part:
Importantly, the team also found that porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV), which is present in almost all pigs, was also present in the hybrid cells. Previous laboratory work has shown that while PERVs in pig cells cannot infect human cells, those in hybrid cells can. The discovery therefore suggests a serious potential problem for xenotransplantation.
[New Scientist | paper (Ogle, et al., "Spontaneous fusion of cells between species yields transdifferentiation and retroviral transfer in vivo," FASEB Journal Express)] So they literally Ogled the PERVs.]

Further news of the coming dystopia in the form of GM insects may be found here.

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