SEP 27, 2017 08:27 PM PDT

These Pigs are Cancer Pioneers


While many medical research projects involve animals, pigs are not normally what most people expect. A group of genetically altered pigs, however, could be the next weapon in the fight against cancer. Medical start-up company Recombinetics Inc. has a farm of pigs that have been engineered to have cancer. Pigs and humans are 98% alike in genes and so creating animals that have disease traits similar to humans could speed the way for drugs to be developed and get to market faster. Mice models are often used in research, but a gene-modifying technology called TALENs could make the pigs a better alternative.

Currently, the company is working on a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis. One n 3,000 children have it, and it can often lead to cancer later in life. Trials in pigs modified to have it have proven helpful since the tumors that grow on the pigs are remarkably similar to those that occur in humans. The pigs can also be used to grow human tissue by taking a patient's own stem cells and using them to grow tissue. The company is also looking for a way to use pigs as blood donors.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
OCT 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 29, 2018
Here's How NASA Tests Martian Parachutes
NASA uses parachute systems throughout the solar system to ensure spacecraft land safely on other planetary bodies. One of the most prominent examples is M...
NOV 06, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 06, 2018
The Rise of Thorium Nuclear Reactors
In the 1960s, an experimental reactor was built at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The scientists who worked on this project had one ingenious idea: to...
NOV 14, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 14, 2018
The Remarkable Life of Marie Skłodowska Curie
November 7 was the birthday of Marie Skłodowska Curie, a pioneer of nuclear research who achieved many "firsts" in the world of science. She was...
NOV 15, 2018
Videos
NOV 15, 2018
A Season of Outbreaks
In a few different places around the world, people are facing disease outbreaks due to pathogenic microbes....
NOV 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 24, 2018
These Are Some of the Most Extreme Dads in the Animal Kingdom
Being a dad isn’t always smooth sailing, but compared to a plethora of different species in the animal kingdom, human dads have it easy. The hardhead...
NOV 29, 2018
Videos
Loading Comments...