Skip to Content

Humanizing the Pig

Recent studies have shown that pigs could donate hearts and kidneys for people. But livers, which rely on enzymes specific to each species, are more difficult. Now comes a promising new approach: partly humanize the pig’s liver. Researchers at Ximerex in Omaha, Neb., infused human liver cells into fetal pigs and watched the cells produce human liver enzymes. But with no room in the pigs’ livers, the human cells ended up in the spleen. To solve this space problem, Ximerex is developing genetically modified pigs programmed to kill off 20 to 80 percent of their own liver cells. The next step will be to transfer the pigs’ immune cells to the patient to build up a tolerance of the hybrid organ. Working with the University of Nebraska, Ximerex hopes to begin human trials in 2005, says President William Beschorner.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

It’s time to retire the term “user”

The proliferation of AI means we need a new word.

The problem with plug-in hybrids? Their drivers.

Plug-in hybrids are often sold as a transition to EVs, but new data from Europe shows we’re still underestimating the emissions they produce.

Sam Altman says helpful agents are poised to become AI’s killer function

Open AI’s CEO says we won’t need new hardware or lots more training data to get there.

An AI startup made a hyperrealistic deepfake of me that’s so good it’s scary

Synthesia's new technology is impressive but raises big questions about a world where we increasingly can’t tell what’s real.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.