ANIMAL ORGANS FOR HUMAN USE GET FAVORABLE REVIEWS AT MEETING.Byline: Geir Moulson Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
Transplanting animal organs into humans offers such promise that nations should work together to overcome scientific and ethical problems, experts said last week at a U.N.-sponsored meeting.
Scientists have suggested in recent years that animals not only could ease the shortage of kidneys, hearts and livers for transplantation, but could supply brain tissue to treat diseases like Parkinson's and pancreatic tissue to treat diabetes.
Attention has focused on the pig, which has internal organs the right size for transplant to humans and breeds rapidly, meaning a large potential organ supply.
There is concern, however, over the risk of infections crossing species barriers. Experiments so far have focused on limited transplantation of animal tissue rather than whole organs.
The World Health Organization sponsored a two-day meeting ending Thursday to examine the possibilities and implications of ``xenotransplantation xen·o·trans·plan·ta·tion
The surgical transfer of cells, tissues, or especially whole organs from one species to another.
British bioethics bioethics, in philosophy, a branch of ethics concerned with issues surrounding health care and the biological sciences. These issues include the morality of abortion, euthanasia, in vitro fertilization, and organ transplants (see transplantation, medical). expert Dr. Rachel Bartlett said the starting point Noun 1. starting point - earliest limiting point
terminus a quo
commencement, get-go, offset, outset, showtime, starting time, beginning, start, kickoff, first - the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got an early start"; "she knew from the is the situation faced by people in need of transplants but unable to find donor organs.
Professor Jeffrey Platt of Duke University said as little as 5 percent to 15 percent of the donor organs required may be available.
About 2,000 heart transplants heart transplant
Procedure to remove a diseased heart and replace it with a healthy one from a legally dead donor. The first was performed in 1967 by Christiaan Barnard. are carried out every year in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , while an estimated 40,000 hearts are needed. The problem is magnified in developing countries.
Platt said every conceivable way to increase the amount of organs available for transplant in the United States has been tried, but all have fallen well short of meeting requirements.
The use of nonhuman organs could solve the dilemma of how available organs are distributed, Platt said. He also denied that the need for organs could be met by using dialysis and other mechanical procedures.
The experts said they also discussed the implications of transplants from pigs with scholars of Islam and Judaism
``The Koran and the Old Testament - Leviticus particularly - talk about the pig only in dietary terms,'' said professor Abdallah S. Daar of Oman University. ``Neither restricts the introduction of porcine porcine /por·cine/ (por´sin) pertaining to swine.
pertaining to pig. See also hog (1), swine.
porcine circovirus 1
a nonpathogenic virus. material through other orifices or through surgical incisions.''
Some concerns have been raised over the development of ``transgenic'' animals, containing a human gene, to reduce the risks of patients rejecting organs.
Such animals could be viewed as hybrids, but Bartlett said the human gene is ``one gene of many'' that would bring about only a ``small and specific change.''