Pig-Human GMOs proposed

A month after British scientists called for human GMOs (see British scientists insisting on human GMOs), there is a proposal to make pig-human GMOs:

October 12, 2015

Prof George Church and colleagues used a technique called Crispr to alter the DNA of pig cells to create a better match for humans.

The early work, in the journal Science, aims to address concerns about rejection and infection by viruses embedded in pig DNA. …

Years more research is needed before genetically modified pigs could be bred to grow organs for people. …

In tests on early pig embryos, Prof Church was able to eliminate all 62 copies of porcine endogenous retroviruses from the pig cells using Crispr.

Next, he checked if the modified pig cells would still easily pass the retrovirus on to human cells. They did not, although there was still a small amount of transmission.

Prof Church says the discovery holds great promise for using animal organs in people – what doctors call xenotransplantation.

Prof Church, who part-owns a company that wants to develop modified pigs to grow organs, said: “It was kind of cool from two stand points. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34506572

Of course, this will be promoted as something good and helpful.

Genetic modification of plants and animals sometimes involves placing genes from one species into another. In ancient times, the combination of humans and animals were called ‘chimeras.’  Some have suggested, and have tried to, put human DNA into other species.

Some have claimed that ‘men are pigs’ and with the current proposal, this could become more literally correct.  Read full article.