01/14/2022

A Replacement Heart, From A Pig

12:16 minutes

a cute pig staring at the camera
Credit: Shutterstock

This week, doctors reported that they had successfully transplanted a heart taken from a pig into a human being, a type of procedure known as xenotransplantation. The pig had been genetically modified to lack a certain protein thought to be responsible for organ rejection in previous transplant attempts. 

The patient, a 57 year-old man, will be monitored for any sign of rejection or infection with a porcine virus—but doctors are hopeful that the work will lead to further transplants and a new source of replacement organs for people. 

Science journalist Roxxane Kamsi joins Ira to talk about that and other stories from the week in science, including research into how antivirals work in people infected with HIV,  the role of clothes dryers on microplastics pollution, a push to make the U.S. electric grid greener, and more.


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Segment Guests

Roxanne Khamsi

Roxanne Khamsi is a science writer based in Montreal, Quebec.

Segment Transcript

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