Birth of CRISPR’d Pigs Advances Hopes for Turning Swine into Organ Donors
August 10, 2017
(STAT News) – This newborn is a pig, and it’s the first to be born with dozens of genetic changes that could enable scientists to turn swine into a source of organs for human transplants, Yang and her colleagues reported on Thursday in Science. They named the piglet Laika, after the first dog to orbit Earth in 1957. The new Laika, born this year in China after numerous miscarriages and other setbacks, could be a pioneer in her own right. Using the genome-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9, Yang and her team at the biotech startup eGenesis knocked out pig DNA that has long been considered a deal-breaker for efforts to use pigs as organ donors. Laika and 36 other designer piglets are completely free of it.