Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Half sheep, half man

A research scientist at the University of Nevada's School of Medicine has successfully created the world's first "human-sheep chimera", which has the body of a sheep, but half-human organs.

Professor Esmail Zanjani has spent seven years and nearly $10 million perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into a sheep's fetus. The resulting "chimera" has 15 percent human cells and 85 percent animal cells.

Its evolution may eventually make it possible to use animal organs for human transplant surgeries. Professor Zanjani also hopes to eventually inject human stem cells from a patient in need of a transplant into a sheep fetus. When the lamb is born two months later it would have "partly human organs" that can be used for a transplant.

Source: Press TV, March 27, 2007

Note: Each day, 19 people die waiting for a donated organ (OrganDonor.Gov)