SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Korea Bizwire) – A monkey that received a pig heart transplant has set a new national record after surviving for 51 days (and counting), said the National Institute of Animal Science Wednesday, surpassing the previous record of 43 days.
The subject monkey, a crab-eating macaque, received the heart and cornea of a genetically modified pig named “Mideumi” on September 9, and as of Wednesday, the primate was healthy and active, with a stable heart rate.
Compared to other mammals, pigs share a similar physiology and organ size with humans, and have been subject to xenotransplantation studies around the world.
“The fact that the monkey with Mideumi’s heart survived for over 50 days indicates that our pig has an excellent ability to contain xenograft rejection, and that we have the necessary tools and technology to successfully carry out cross-species transplantation,” said an institute official.
The pig, engineered in 2010, has a gene that causes excessive production of membrane cofactor protein, which helps prevent bodily rejection of foreign organs.
Image Credit: National Institute of Animal Science / firstname.lastname@example.org