May 22, 2024


Maverick IVF specialist Lord Robert Winston has unveiled a plan to solve the organ transplant crisis with genetically-engineered pigs. He is trying to trick the immune system with pig organs which the human body will not recognise as foreign. He believes that these could be ready for transplants within 10 to 15 years. “The immunology is going to be very complicated but I think the ability to make a large transgenic animal is very close,” he says.

One obstacle to progress in this line of research, especially in the UK, is animal rights activists who will insist that it is unethical to kill animals for their organs. Lord Winston’s response is: “If we broadly as a society agree that it is fundamentally ethical to use large animals as a food source, then surely you could argue it is better to use them to save lives?”