Genetically modified pig raises hope in developing humanized organs and organ parts

South Korean researchers have created a genetically modified pig whose organs can be used for transplanting into human patients. The researchers have predicted the mass production of these hybrid pigs capable of producing humanized organs and organ parts, including pancreatic islets of Langerhans, heart valves and entire hearts. But they have yet to prove the organs can be transplanted into human patients without risk to life. The piglet is part of the “mini-pig” species that grow up to just around 80 kilograms.

The piglet was born after trial and error tests for the past six years with a budget of $3.38 million. The cloned piglet was born by a surrogate mother on April 3 and remains healthy at a lab at the National Institution of Animal Science in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province.