The first experiment with a pig heart was a grandson… but!
Last week American doctors successfully transplanted the first genetically modified pig heart into a human. The health of the patient undergoing surgery is stable. Doctors believe he will soon fully recover. On the other hand, medical experts believe that this surgery will be a milestone in the ongoing experiments on organ transplantation.
The medical field has come a long way as a result of technological advances over the past few decades. Many medical facilities are available to man today. Donor organs are transplanted to the recipients and brought to life. However, organ shortages were caused by a lack of donors in the number of recipients. As a result, experiments on other species’ body parts intensified. These experiments were performed on patients who had no choice but to die. The same is true of the experiment in which a man recently fitted a pig heart.
The success of the American medical experiment is a step forward in resolving the organ crisis. Organs are unavailable or millions die everyday. An average of seventeen lives are lost each day in America. Millions are on the waiting list for organs. It is impossible for so many people to have organs. Therefore, it is imperative not to conduct serious experiments on animal organs.
The process of implanting organs of other species into humans is called genotransplantation. One such experiment took place in America last year. New York surgeons have transplanted a pig kidney into a human. However, before the surgery the patient went into a coma with a blind. He underwent experimental surgery after being diagnosed with no chance of recovery. But now the man who fitted the pig heart is hoping for a normal life after surgery. The surgery was successful..but no one can say how long he will live.
Organs of other species must be genetically modified before they can be transplanted into humans. Some of the genes that cause the human body to reject animal organs must be removed from them.
In fact, the process of genotransplantation is not current. Experiments have been going on for a long time. In the past, scientists for human heart transplant surgeries have focused on ape species that are closer to humans. Even if some experiments are successful.
Successful pig heart to man is not a simple matter. However, an Indian doctor did just that five years ago. Dr. Dhani Ram Barua of Assam successfully transplanted a pig heart into a 32-year-old man in 1997. However, due to legal errors in this order, the credit did not go to Barua. Dr. Dhaniram Barua from Sonapur, Assam is currently 72 years old. Can’t speak clearly due to brain stroke. But it is clear what he is saying to the aides.
He was then running the Dhaniram Heart Institute and the Institute of Applied Human Genetic Engineering Medical College in Sonapur, 20 km from Guwahati, the capital of Assam. He was a world-class cardiologist in the 80s. He was a great medical expert who developed artificial heart valves in those days. Those “Barua Heart Valves” are still in use around the world. Also, many experiments have been done on the heart. However, the whole story changed in 1997 with an experiment on a pig’s heart.
Dr. Barua performed the experiment in January 1997 with Jonathan Hockey Shing, a heart surgeon from Hong Kong. In those days when there were no medical facilities like now, it was a privilege for Dhaniram to perform this surgery in his medical college. The patient, who lived for a week with a pig heart, died a week later due to various infections.
Dhani Ram, a world-class heart surgeon, has not sought government approval for ‘geno transplantation’. Not only that .. He did direct pig heart transplant surgery, without sending the details of his research to high level reviews. With this, cases were registered against him and the hospital. He was jailed for 40 days. But the damage had already been done. With that he was confined to his home for a long time.
Despite the damage to the hospital and the allegations, Dr. Dhaniram’s investigations did not stop. It was announced in 2008 that a genetically modified vaccine would be developed to correct congenital heart problems. In 2015, it was announced that genes that control HIV had been extracted from medicinal plants in the Himalayas, and that 86 of them had been able to eradicate HIV.
Dr. Barua’s experiment may be a success. But the surgical procedure is important here. The Barua experiment was unethical. But, the success of the University of Maryland Medical School surgeons is the result of decades of their research. So it is being hailed as a milestone in medicine.
Another important difference is that American surgeons used a genetically modified pig heart. Ten of the 100,000 pig genes have been modified to fit the human heart. The human body removes three genes from pig organs that cause rapid antibody-mediated rejection. Also paired were six human genes that recognize pig heart immunity. In addition, an additional gene was removed to inhibit the overgrowth of pig heart tissue. But, Barua used common pigs for surgery.
Prior approvals from the relevant departments are required for such experimental surgeries. The University of Maryland has obtained prior approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. But Barua performed his surgery in secret. The surgery was performed in a secluded place where no one was allowed. The question arises as to why the government did not take into account in advance what they were doing would be useful to the world.
American doctors’ pig heart transplant patient 57-year-old David Bennett is recovering faster than expected. However, the doctor who led the heart transplant team says it is not yet clear whether he survived the accident. Bennett says a machine fitted for blood circulation in the body will not be needed for more than 45 days.
Bennett is currently breathing on his own. Even speaking softly. He will need another week of machine help so that the pig heart can get used to the new environment. Overall Bennett’s health seems to be stable. The fate of these experiments will depend on how long he lives. If Bennett had lived a long time it would indeed remain in human history as a turning point in medicine !!