Researchers at NYU Langone Health in New York City attached a genetically engineered pig kidney to the kidney blood vessels of a man already declared brain dead.
Dr. David Prentice, research director at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, says the NYU researchers were monitoring to see if the human body showed any sudden immune response to the pig kidney and rejected it.
“And it turned out,” he says, “there was not.”
Digging even further into the experiment, the pig’s DNA was altered to remove a molecule that is known to trigger the human body’s rejection, a story by Reuters about the research explained.
Prentice acknowledges some of the public may be concerned about the ethics involved and he agrees the experiment is just in the beginning stages.
“There's a lot to be done,” he says. “I mean, only two days tells you there's no immediate immune response. It doesn't tell you whether there will be something later on.”
According to the Reuters article, the researchers worked with medical ethicists, legal experts, and religious leaders in a project that began years ago.
Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the study, is himself a heart-transplant recipient, the story said.