Researchers Aim to Grow Human Organs Inside Pigs

In hopes of growing human organs inside pigs, scientists in the U.S. have injected human stem cells into pig embryos in order to produce human-pig embryos known as "chimeras." The team aiming to create these chimeras, from the University of California at Davis, claims the pigs that grow into adults from these embryos will look and act like other pigs -- but they will also have one organ that will be composed of human cells.

Researchers hope their work will help counter a worldwide shortage of viable human organs available for transplant.

Walter Low, a professor in the department of neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota, told the BBC that pigs were an ideal "biological incubator" for growing human organs and that they could potentially be used to create kidneys, lungs, corneas, hearts, livers, and other organs suitable for transplantation.

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