Doctor: pigs with human organs 2 years off

Sep 10, 2007

One of Britain's top doctors says pigs grown with transplantable human organs could be bred within two years.

Professor Robert Winston of Imperial College in London said his laboratory has produced its first litter of experimental pigs, The Daily Mail reported Monday.

Winston's research aims to breed pigs with modified sperm that blocks genes that trigger the immune system. Those modifications would allow major organs to be transplanted into humans without fear of the organ being rejected by the body.

"The key is to create animals with a human-like immune system, which will not be rejected," he said.

"I believe we are two years away from breeding these animals, they are very close."

However, Winston lamented government bureaucracy that he credits with causing delays that threaten the project.

"Bureaucracy has held up this experiment, and for any investor that's deeply disconcerting," he said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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