SEP 27, 2017 8:27 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
DEC 23, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 23, 2019
Why NASA's Artemis Mission is So Important
If you’ve been following NASA, then you’ve undoubtedly heard about the American space agency’s Artemis mission. Artemis is all about laun...
JAN 09, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 09, 2020
Australian Bushfire Update
Devastating wildfires continue to ravage the continent of Australia. The report from BBC News below, which aired earlier this week, gives an encompassing u...
JAN 25, 2020
Neuroscience
JAN 25, 2020
Are You Still Working on Your New Year's Resolution?
There are a few cardinal rules when it comes to goal-setting, and you've probably heard them all before. Goals will be successful if they are specific-...
JAN 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 27, 2020
How Dangerous is Radiation on Mars?
One of humankind’s most ambitious goals for the next decade is preparing to send astronauts to Mars for the very first time. Such a feat is projected...
FEB 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 09, 2020
Here's Why NASA Needs Another Space Station Orbiting the Moon
NASA already has the International Space Station at its disposal, and with that in mind, many have come to question why the American space agency plans to...
FEB 20, 2020
Cardiology
FEB 20, 2020
Most Commonly Birth Defects Affect The Heart
Birth defects are not uncommon. For every 33 babies born in the United States each year, one is born with a defect. That adds up to about 120,000 babies ea...
Loading Comments...