Genetically modified (GMO) pigs made waves in December as researchers announced the first generation of pigs resistant to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus, which costs the U.S. pork industry roughly $10 billion annually.
GMO pigs are back in the news, this time with the potential to save human lives.
USA Today reports that scientists are currently working to test GMO pig organs to see if they could be a viable option for humans needing transplants. These pigs are being modified to be more compatible with humans.
It's a challenging task since most immune systems will automatically reject organ transplants between species. Five human genes have been added to the pigs to help stop organ rejection.
So far it's worked in primates, and scientists are hoping it will work for humans, too.