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[IP] pig transplants?



heh heh...please note my snide remarks inserted in caps...

Pig Study Eases Transplant Fears
.c The Associated Press

 WASHINGTON (AP) - The biggest study yet on the safety of transplanting body 
parts from pigs into humans proved reassuring: None of the 160 patients 
studied caught a worrisome pig virus. [THANK GOD - I WAS WORRIED ABOUT 
GROWING A CURLY TAIL!!]

The study in Friday's edition of the journal Science could spur more 
experiments using animals as potential organ donors. [DO THEY HAVE TO SIGN A 
DONOR CARD?]

But scientists stressed this highly experimental field called 
``xenotransplantation'' - transplanting organs or cells from one species to 
another - still requires caution because the new study doesn't prove it's 
safe. [I THOUGHT THEY HAD ALREADY DONE THIS WITH BABOON HEARTS!!!]

Doctors hope xenotransplantation will one day save thousands of lives by 
easing a worldwide shortage of donated organs. But some scientists fear it 
also could cause new epidemics. [AND WHAT ABOUT THE PIG RIGHTS ACTIVISTS???  
COULD THIS CAUSE A SHORTAGE OF PIGS???]

Concern was heightened when researchers recently discovered the genes of all 
pigs - the species most likely used in attempted xenotransplants - harbor a 
previously unknown virus that test-tube experiments showed could infect human 
cells.  The virus didn't harm the pigs, but nobody knew if it would hurt 
humans.  [IT IS THAT GENE THAT MAKES THEM TASTE SO GOOD!!!]

So scientists at the British biotechnology company Imutran Ltd. tracked down 
160 patients from eight countries who were experimentally treated with living 
pig tissue, such as pancreatic cell transplants for diabetes.  Using the most 
rigorous viral testing available - and backed with confirmatory testing by 
the U.S. government - Imutran scientists found no evidence these patients 
were infected by the pig virus.

Still, scientists stress all xenotransplantation experiments - like those 
currently implanting pig cells into Parkinson's disease patients' brains - 
must be closely monitored.

GREAT - WHERE DO I SIGN UP?  oink oink

Sara
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