Scientists in Melbourne, Australia have made a medical breakthrough which has moved the use of pig lungs in transplants into humans a step closer to reality.
Experts, who used a ventilator and pump to keep the animal lungs alive and "breathing" while human blood flowed in them, hope the work could lead to the first animal-human transplants within five years, reports The Telegraph.
AdvertisementDr Glenn Westall, who helped conduct the experiment, said: "The blood went into the lungs without oxygen and came out with oxygen, which is the exact function of the lungs.
"It showed that these lungs were working perfectly well and doing as we were expecting them to do.
"This is a significant advance compared to experiments that have been performed over the past 20 years."
In the breakthrough study, scientists were able to remove a section of pig DNA, which had made the pig organs incompatible with human blood.