Turning Pigs Into Safer Organ Donors?

That’s the goal of geneticist George Church, and last week he announced that his team at Harvard Medical School had succeeded. Currently, the demand for donor organs outstrips the supply by a factor of ten. Pigs could help to meet this demand, but their genomes contain hidden viruses called porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs), which could conceivably pop out of the transplanted organs and cause unexpected diseases.

Church’s team solved this problem by using CRISPR, a powerful...

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