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Meet the pigs that could one day grow new organs for humans
On a farm in Bavaria, German researchers are using gene editing to create pigs that could provide organs to save thousands of lives.

The need: Today in the United States, 7,300 people die each year because they can’t find an organ donor. 

Unlikely heroes: The solution could lie on the outskirts of the German city of Munich. Here, pigs have been given four genetic modifications that make their organs more likely to be accepted when transplanted into a human.

In the works: Different types of tissues from genetically engineered pigs are already being tested in humans. In China, insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells from gene-edited pigs have been transplanted into people with diabetes, for example. 

Next level: But when it comes to life-or-death organs, like hearts and livers, surgeons still must rely on human parts. One day, genetically modified pigs like these in Munich will be sliced open, their hearts, kidneys, lungs and livers sped to transplant centers to save desperately sick patients from death. Read the full story here

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