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Genetic scientists have been busy creating all kinds of solutions to some of the problems that the human and agricultural populations have been experiencing One of the most promising has been in the area of transplantation That is how Dolly the sheep came about Scientists have been trying to find a way to genetically engineer animals so that they can produce organs for humans that will not be rejected Insulin from pigs has helped diabetics pig valves can be used in cardiac repair and pig skin helps burn victimswhy not organs next Pig 23 was genetically altered to incorporate human genes in hopes of preventing rejection after transplantation Pigs have organs that are about the right size and are similiar to humans also the availability of these organs is great due to the reproductive cycle of pigs The biggest obstacle is the issue of rejection The new organ is typically killed even before the surgeon closes the incision due to hyperacute rejection This process clots the blood by forming antibodies that attach to the endothelium of the blood vessels in the organ The complement system creates gaps in vessels allowing gaps to form and clots to accumulate Therefore a complement inhibitor was developed as the gene was cloned introduced into pigs whose cells produced this protein Another thing discovered was that the cells lining the pig vessels have a sugar molecules called alpha-galactose and humans have lots of antibodies against alpha-gal Some are thinking of knocking out the gene for alpha-gal and replacing it with the human gene for type O blood sugar One other stumbling block may be the transferense of unknown viruss like the HIV virus that was somehow transmitted from monkeys Scientists are hoping that most viruss will not be viable in humans Tissue engineering is a promising new field and livers are being grown in sponges in hopes of providing livers to those whose livers have failed Transgeneic production is
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