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Pig embryo may be a "window of opportunity" to cure genetic disease

by 5m Editor
26 December 2006, at 3:58am

ISRAEL - Weizmann Institute scientists show how a "window of opportunity" could enable pig embryo tissue transplants to eventually cure genetic diseases.

It doesn't sound kosher, but pig embryo tissue could eventually induce the human body to produce blood-clotting proteins for hemophilia patients and other critical substances to cure disease.

Immunology Prof. Yair Reisner and doctoral student Anna Aronovich of the Weizmann Institute's Immunology Department, together with colleagues, showed how such a transplant could be made feasible in the future. The study was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

In hemophilia, a mutated gene prevents the production of a critical blood-clotting protein. Treatments for hemophilia and other such genetic diseases, when they exist, may consist of risky blood transfusions or expensive enzyme replacement therapy. But if the body could be induced to begin producing these proteins by transplanting healthy tissue having the abilities that are lacking, this would constitute a cure.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

5m Editor