In an attempt to reduce the severe shortage of organs for transplantation, researchers have once again revived the idea of using animal organs with the development of guinea pigs created by using human genes.
Animal organ transplantation was considered to be the perfect answer a few years ago for the organ shortage by a number of problems meant that the idea had to be dropped. However researchers from Pittsburgh University now hope to develop guinea pigs through human genes, allowing them to use the organs in transplantation.
The researchers hope to conduct a trial by 2013 with corneas from pigs being used to transplant in humans with eye problems. While the researchers expect the trials to be a success, they added that the transplantation of bigger organs such as lungs or livers could take some more time.
"These problems mean that the longest survival time for pig organs in non-human primates to date ranges from a few days for lungs to around six to eight months for hearts, and trials of solid organ transplants of this nature in humans are likely to be several years away", the researchers wrote in their report which has been published in the journal The Lancet.