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Doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine achieved a world first by successfully transplanting a genetically modified pig heart into a human patient, reported The Associated Press (11 January 2022). (Picture: My Broadband, 11 January 2022)
The patient, David Bennet, underwent the procedure on Friday, 7 January 2022, and three days later, his body has not rejected the organ.
According to the New York Times, the heart was genetically modified to eliminate four genes that encode a molecule that causes the body to reject the organ.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a statement regarding the procedure saying
“Animal-to-human transplants are unethical, dangerous, and a tremendous waste of resources that could be used to fund research that might actually help humans.” .