Disease fear halts pig transplant work

14 August 2000

Disease fear halts pig transplant work

By FWi staff

RESEARCH on using pig organs for transplant has stopped because of the risk of deadly viruses jumping from the animals to people.

Scientists fear there could be a repetition of the BSE crisis which saw the animal virus transmitted to humans as variant CreutzfeldtJakob disease (vCJD).

The Roslin Institute — which cloned Dolly the Sheep — has called a halt to a 12.5m six year project after just two years, reports the Daily Mail.

Scientists had been working on techniques to rid pigs of certain genes so humans would not reject their organs.

But Californian firm Geron Bio-Med which owns rights to the institutes research decided to scrap the project because risks were too great.

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