Genetically engineered pig hearts transplanted into dead people

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The two recipients were kept alive on ventilators

Researchers successfully transplanted genetically modified pig hearts into two recently deceased people connected to ventilators, the New York University team announced today. The surgeries are the latest step forward in the field of animal-to-human transplants, or xenotransplantation, which has seen a flurry of successes so far this year — raising hopes for a new, steady supply of organs to ease shortages.

The only thing different about these heart transplants from a normal human-to-human heart transplant was the organ itself, the research team said in a statement. “Our goal is to integrate the practices used in a typical, everyday heart transplant, only with a nonhuman organ that will function normally without additional aid from untested devices or medicines,” said Nader Moazami, director of heart transplantation at the NYU Langone Transplant Institute.