The 57-year-old David Bennet received a pig heart transplant this year in January. A team of doctors did the surgery led by Bartley Griffith at the University of Maryland medical center. The pig’s heart underwent ten gene modifications to make it compatible for a transplant.
However, the receiver, David Bennet, died two months after his surgery. At that time, no exact cause was given for his death. Now, the transplant surgeon Bartley Griffith has said that the reason for the death could be a pig virus.
Pig Virus Infection
Griffith described the reasons in a webinar hosted by the American Society of Transplantation on 20 April. As per Griffith, the pig heart was infected with a porcine virus called porcine cytomegalovirus. Griffith further said if it was an infection we could prevent in the future.
Although the first attempt at a pig heart transplant didn’t succeed, if Griffith and his team could prevent the porcine virus, animal-to-human heart surgery would become possible at a mass level. It will be an outstanding achievement in the field of xenotransplantation.
When all these developments are happening in the science and medical field, Elon Musk’s company Neuralink aims to insert a chip using Robotics into the human brain. The company is already seeking a human trial later this year. If it happens, it is going to be historical.
What do you guys think about an animal to human organ transplantation? Will it be possible to increase human life in the future without taking someone else life? Do write your thoughts in the comments.