The Science Puts Genetically Modified Pig Kidney Into Human

The Science is at it again!

Turning humans into pigs!


Doctors have performed the first transplant of a genetically modified kidney from a pig into a living human, they announced Thursday.

The four-hour surgery was performed Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital, which was also the first hospital to perform a kidney transplant in 1954.

The patient, Rick Slayman, a 62-year-old manager with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation who had been diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease, is recovering well and expected to be discharged from the hospital soon.

Doctors said Thursday that they thought his new kidney could last years but also acknowledged that there are many unknowns in animal-to-human transplants.

In a written statement provided by the hospital, Slayman said he had been a patient in the hospital’s transplant program for 11 years. He previously received a kidney from a human donor in 2018 after living with diabetes and high blood pressure for many years. That kidney began to show signs of failure five years later, and he resumed dialysis in 2023.

When he was diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease last year, he said, his doctors suggested that he try a pig kidney.

“I saw it not only as a way to help me, but a way to provide hope for the thousands of people who need a transplant to survive,” Slayman said in the statement.

Doctors who were not involved in the case said the surgery represented a significant medical milestone.

“To finally see this come to fruition after years of work and collaboration is really a huge step forward and a great moment for transplant,” said Dr. Parsia Vagefi, chief of surgical transplantation at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Dr. Tatsuo Kawai, director of the Legorreta Center for Clinical Transplant Tolerance and the surgeon who performed the operation, said the pig organ was exactly the same size as a human kidney.

When they stitched it in, connecting its blood vessels to Slayman’s, Kawai said, it immediately “pinked up” and began to make urine. The 15-member transplant team in the operating room burst into applause, he said.

It was truly the most beautiful kidney I have ever seen,” Kawai said Thursday in a news briefing that was emotional for the doctors involved, some of whom have worked on this research for their entire careers.

The organ came from a pig that was genetically modified by a company eGenesis Bio to make it more compatible with a human. Other companies are also working to make pig tissues and organs suitable for xenotransplants.

People will say “oh well, I wouldn’t want to die either.”

But is that true?

Would you really rather become part pig than simply die?

Is dying really that big of a deal?

Nurse removes the pig kidney from its box.