Transplant shortage? Don’t generate human organs in animals, use stem cell technology to develop organoids

e d a a b d dd d e hairycell
A spherical skin organoid showing the generation of multiple cell layers. Image: Jiyoon Lee/Karl Koehler

Xenotransplantation experiments, generating human organs in animals for transplantation, are being conducted in sheep, pigs, and, recently, in nonhuman primates. Last month, a group of scientists from Spain and the US began to examine the use of monkeys as animal hosts to produce human organs. 

There are many scientific and ethical issues emerging from xenotransplantation technologies. For example, will it be ethical to do the experiments necessary to ensure that human stem cells introduced into the animal embryo to form a kidney will not migrate to the animal’s brain to generate human-like behaviors in such animal chimeras?  

There is an alternative that we believe avoids several of these scientific and ethical concerns—the use of stem cell technology to develop human organoids. 

[There are] scientific groups that are using 3-D technologies to develop mini-organs such as liver, placenta, stomach, lymph nodes, and even brain

Related article:  New techniques could transform epigenetics research, ameliorating diseases

Without making a final ethical judgment on future research using human-animal chimeras as a source of human transplantable organs, we believe that developing human organoids might offer a faster and better scientific and ethical platform to address the crisis in organ transplantation.    

Read full, original post: Develop Organoids, Not Chimeras, for Transplantation

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Nigeriacotton

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend